Louisiana License Plates

Early pelican plates had a longer state name that extends under the right bolt hole. Also, there was a watermark thread running through the head of the pelican. The design was modified slightly to move the thread to the right side of the plate so it would not run through the pelican. In the process, the state name was shortened enough that it ends before the bolt hole. NGK 569 was spotted in the original design with the longer state name. NMC 680 was spotted in the newer design with the shorter state name.


black on white

Standard Passenger Plates

Pelican (std issue)

261 HGP
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Spotted in West Monroe

The Q and U series were skipped.

This is the new standard issue graphic with the pelican. It began with the NFV series. Chuck Crisler reports that OK/OL/OM prefixes have a larger Louisiana "lipstick" logo. There may be others as well. Wally Punzmann reports OJV 078 with the larger state name and security watermark thread down the middle. Bradley Gallagher reports a pelican with the larger state name in the NFX series.

VCR 700 was the highest reported pelican plate in 2011 before the change to the Bicentennial, but the pelican has resumed issue in 2013, taking up where the Bicentennial left off. Nate Bonnett has seen a higher pre-switch pelican, VCS 446.

Low (after Bicentennial): WUH 297 2015-10-16

Christopher Jones - 27 Apr ’24

Battle Of New Orleans

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This is a new standard issue through 2015 to commemorate the bicentennial of the Battle of New Orleans. White reflective background. Top: LOUISIANA in red block letters. Bottom (in blue): (first time LA has put a website address on any plate.) On the left (in blue): BICENTENNIAL, a silhouette of the Andrew Jackson statue in Jackson Square, and "Battle of New Orleans", and "1815-2015." Serial uses the standard dies, shifted to the right as was done on the Bicentennial plate.

From David Wilson: the Battle base website address reads "" (no capital letters, seen on YDX682) & "" (with capital L & T, seen on YHA859)

Low: XSS064 spotted 01/21/2014 and XSN673 spotted 09/23/2014 (which means that there is no clean break between the Pelican and this new plate.)

Xavier FitzSimons reports XUB535 on a Battle.

XSL has been reported on a Battle.

From Chris Jones: YFB 241 was spotted with the earlier variant with "". YIX series plate has the later variant with "".

When ZZZ999 is reached, the series will reverse to 000AAA - 999ZZZ.

Brett Weisbrot - 18 Sep ’21


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Graphic of state and pelican on the left, with "1812 - 200 Years - 2012" slogan on bottom. The serial is shifted to the right on this plate, with no space between the letters and numbers.

Joey Hurd reports this series started at VDA000. This series began in early March 2011. Lowest spotted is VDA754 by Francis Lapeyre on 2011-03-30, but Francis also spotted VCU477 on this base with the large graphic on 2011-08-12, so it appears to have started before VDA. Nate Bonnett reports VCT 795 with the large graphic on this type.

Somewhere between VRW002 and VRZ508, the pelican-and-state graphic was made smaller (the first letter had been overlapping the graphic, making it harder to read.) Serial is still shifted to the right.

Update: VRU595 was spoted with the small graphic on 08/10/2011, so there doesn't appear to be a clean break from the large graphic and the smaller one.

Andrew Osborne reports VQX 839 in the small pelican design, and VQD 839 in the large pelican design. Nate Bonnett reports the small design on VQU 727.

As of January 2013, Louisiana has changed back to the pelican plate.

Xavier FitzSimons - 20 Jun ’15

Louisiana Purchase

MSN 413
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This was the standard issue plate for two years.

One report said the Purchase series began at KKR, but another shows it starting at KLL. Since our highest reported plain before the Purchase is KKW 056, that supports the starting point of the Purchase at KLL rather than KKR. Our lowest reported Purchase plate is KLL 586. The end of the Purchase plate is reported to be MSN.

Wally Punzmann - 4 Oct ’09

Pelican (after Battle)

ZZL 625
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This is the second issuance of the Pelican plate, which came back into use after the Battle Of New Orleans plate ceased.

Low: ZVB 071 Staff - 10 Apr ’16


NFU 788
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The plain style regular issue ended in the middle of the K series when the Louisiana Purchase issue began, but the plain style returned in the MTE through NFU series. NFV was spotted on the Pelican, so it is pretty certain that the plain ended at NFU, and at least one NFU was spotted on the plain.

Plain high before Louisiana Purchase: KKW 056

Nate Bonnett - 3 Jul ’13

Non-passenger Plates


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Changed to APPORTIONED across the bottom at some point before P200000.

Previously had PWR PERMANENT APP across bottom. First appeared in 2001 around P12nnnnn, issued annually prior to that.

Francis Lapeyre - 3 Jun ’15

Boat Trailer

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Only for boat trailers with under a 1500 lb. GVWR. Anything larger must have a regular Trailer plate.

Francis Lapeyre - 4 Mar ’13

City Use Truck

M020072C U TRUCK
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CU TRUCK embossed on bottom.

Francis Lapeyre - 13 Jul ’11


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These used to be in the A prefix, which is exhausted. Mostly rental cars. The early A prefixes were Taxi. The early N prefixes were motor home.

Previous commercial series was A200000-A799999. Used (formerly) on autos registered to corporations, now mostly found on rental cars.

A7xxxxx commercial plates are apparently being issued concurrently with the N plates.

Matt Reilly - 6 Mar ’24


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Current high is black on dark yellow, fully embossed. Now with stacked D/I prefix, since serial has advanced beyond 99999. Fully embossed (including the prefix), black on dark yellow.

Issued to new and used auto dealers. DI stands for "Dealer Inventory." Plates can be transferred between dealer-owned vehicles. Lipstick design, with "DEALER" embossed on bottom. Renewed annually in December with validation sticker.

Update: Dealer plates can now expire in any month. The validation sticker has a slightly narrower font than the standard sticker.

As of early 2012, stickers on Dealer plates seem to be using the new standard sticker (which has a wider font than the original stickers with the plate number on the bottom that were introduced in 2001.)

Francis Lapeyre reports that apparently Dealer Inventory plates are now all embossed (no screened lipstick state name like other issues), and are now black over light yellow. LOUISIANA embossed on top, DEALER on bottom, and the usual white month/year validation sticker at the lower right corner. The low for this style is DI64299 spotted on 2012-06-10.

Handicapped Dealer: HD0191 (wheelchair symbol to the left of serial; the HD prefix is embossed full-sized)

Update: These new all-embossed plates are black over dark yellow (not a bright yellow). LOUISIANA embossed on top; DEALER embossed on bottom.

Joseph Guillaume - 11 Mar ’21


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Has small "wheelchair" symbol to the left of serial (in the state's OMV database with an H prefix; the H is printed on the validation sticker, but only the wheelchair symbol is on the plate.) Plain "Lipstick" base. This number series started in 1974.

There is an Institutional Handicapped plate. It has the wheelchair symbol, then serial. High spotted - 2269. Regular lipstick plate; INSTITUTIONAL embossed on bottom. Sticker prefix is IH (does not appear on plate.)

Handicapped - Commercial: %525 (wheelchair symbol before serial, COMMERCIAL embossed at bottom) 2011-08-30 Francis Lapeyre

The older series (which is still valid; these can be transferred to a new vehicle) are reflective white on orange. Plates below 100000 had a larger wheelchair symbol. Lipstick design started at some point after 100000 (in 1993, when LA began a general re-issue), but older specialty plates were not replaced.

Avery - 1 Jun ’22

Hire Passenger

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This plate is issued to commercial buses that carry passengers for hire, taxis, and limousines. Hire Taxi and Hire Bus plates used to be in the in the A0xxxxx range. Now, both classes are issued "Hire Passenger" plates in this range. Lipstick design

From Francis Lapeyre: There is a new Hire Passenger plate for "taxi cabs, limousines, horse drawn carriages, and pedicabs owned or operated by companies licensed by the city of New Orleans.". Louisiana in lipstick script on the top; "New Orleans" in an French Quarter-like font on the bottom. Louisiana map at left, followed by a four-letter stacked prefix (Q/N T/X), followed by the CPNC* number. High so far: QNTX1350. *CPNC=Certificate of Public Necessity and Convenience.

** Update: There are two types of special New Orleans for-hire plates. QNTX is for taxis; and QNLM is for limousines (high for this one is QNLM 150). Also, these plates are issued in pairs - the first Louisiana plates to be so issued since before WWII. Regular Hire Passenger plates (and all others) are still issued singly.

Francis Lapeyre - 20 Aug ’13


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This series has been running since the 1980s.

Andrew Osborne - 19 Jul ’22

Private Bus

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Now in this range, after exhausting A0x and N0x ranges.

Plain Lipstick base. Issued to motor homes, and to any bus that isn't a school bus and does not carry passengers for hire (for example, church buses). This plate also used to be in the early "A" series before that was exhausted.

Apparently a new series for Private Bus class. Still on plain Lipstick base; "PRIVATE BUS" embossed on bottom.

Kyle Wasson - 18 Oct ’22

Private Truck

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Used on SUVs, vans, pickups. Started in 1978 as the T series. Progressed in this order: T, R, S, V, W, X, and now Y. Y was used earlier for Apportioned 5 year Trailer (mostly rental) in the 80s and 90s. That class of Trailer was discontinued in 2001, replaced by a Trailer plate with a PERM sticker for $70, or $10/year with a 1 year or 4 year registration.

Embossed PRIVATE legend replaced by screened "Sportman's Paradise" slogan somewhere in mid-W series.

Martin Houle - 17 Apr ’24


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Statewide issue for all vehicles of any class owned by government entities (state, parish, or city). Permanent plate with no validation sticker, on the plain Lipstick base. Has the word "PUBLIC" stacked vertically to the left of the serial (plates below 100000 had "PUBLIC" stacked diagonally, slanting down to the right). Series has been running since 1974.

Public - Handicapped - 1555 (wheelchair logo before number)

Francis Lapeyre - 13 Dec ’22

School Bus

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Another plate in the "A" range. This plate is issued to school buses that are not publicly owned. (All publicly-owned vehicles, regardless of class, have Public plates.)

Joseph Guillaume - 11 Mar ’21


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Black on white. On the left is there are three tamper-resistant blocks for the expiration date - month, day, and year (filled out by the dealer with permanent marker). Valid for 60 days.

Motorcycle Temporary: 407372MC 2015-07-10 David Wilson

Avery - 20 Nov ’21


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Reflective white on red embossed plate issued to tow trucks. Renewed with sticker annually in June.

Update - Plates can now expire in any month. Still white-on-red embossed.

Francis Lapeyre - 12 Mar ’12


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There are two classes of Trailer (Boat Trailer and Light Semi-Trailer) that are in the late D series, but they are rare. Most trailers have regular Trailer plates, presumably because it costs less to get a $70 permanent registration than to pay annually for these types. It appears Boat Trailer was exhausted, so now they are appearing in the K00nnnn range and they are still very rare. Light Semi-Trailer is rare because it's for trailers under 500 lb GVWR. Boat Trailer plates must have a GVWR of less than 1500 lbs., but they aren't available with a PERM sticker.

It appears that D Trailer plates went through D499999, and then advanced to E000000-E999999, then L000000 to present.

Francis Lapeyre reports Light Semi-Trailer D380333 on 6/15/2012. He is not sure where they left off in the D series, but not many are left.

Chris Jones has E027613 on the red on white plain base without the lipstick, indicating that the lipstick base on trailers started after E000001.

Martin Houle - 5 Apr ’24


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This plate series started at B100000 in June 1983. Old style was white on powder blue; currently on the plain Lipstick base. This plate is for any truck over 7,500 lbs. Trucks under that weight are issued X-prefix (formerly T, R, S and W) private truck plates.

Embossed TRUCK legend replaced by screened "Sportsman's Paradise" slogan somewhere around 500000.

Update from Francis Lapeyre: I've seen smaller trucks (obviously under 7500 lbs.) with this plate, so it's possible that it is being issued to all trucks regardless of weight, now that the X series has apparently run out.

Andrew Osborne - 14 Jul ’22

Specialty Plates

American Indian

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Issuance of specialty plates has evidently resumed after several year legal hiatus.

Xavier FitzSimons - 14 Nov ’14

Animal Friendly

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Avery - 21 Jul ’21

Black Bear

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Xavier FitzSimons - 14 Nov ’14


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"I'm Cajun...and Proud!"

This plate has a crawfish and accordion superimposed over a fleur-de-lis. There are no preceding letters before the number (similar to LSU and Saints plates.)

Xavier FitzSimons - 3 Dec ’15

Chez Nous Autres

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From the official state web site: "Designed by the late Cajun cultural preservationist Richard Guidry and French immersion educator Nicole Boudreaux, the plate features a Louisiana landscape with the words Chez Nous Autres (Cajun French for “our home”) and the fleur de lis shape of the Louisiana Iris with its French name la glaie bleue. Even the state’s name is written in French so instead of saying Louisiana it says Louisiane."

Xavier R. Dubé - 9 Dec ’21

Environmental Education

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Xavier FitzSimons - 22 Nov ’14

Gold Star Family

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"Remember the Fallen" across bottom.

Xavier FitzSimons - 19 Feb ’15

In God We Trust

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Plate features the American flag above the Louisiana flag.

Seen on Plateshack Y2K

Xavier FitzSimons - 18 Jan ’15

Louisiana State University

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Yet another new base for LSU has emerged. The purple tiger stripes have been removed, and only the LSU logo is to the left (no tiger's head). Serial is still purple. There have been low numbers on this base (remake or reissue). This is somewhat of a first for LA, as they have in the past just reissued a new plate with a new serial (they have, in the past, remade personalized plates).

The last new LSU plate incorporatied light purple tiger stripes on white background. Low-numbered plates (in the 1000 range) were re-made on the new base. OMV may be replacing the older base on renewal (or upon request.)

The early tiger-striped LSU plates had light purple stripes; this later version has darker purple stripes which make the purple serial harder to see. OMV prefix on sticker is ULS (does not appear on the plate itself.)

The new logo mentioned is the "Eye of the Tiger."

Ross Day - 13 Mar ’21

New Orleans Saints

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Saints logo on left, "Super Bowl XLIV World Champions" across bottom.

Xavier FitzSimons - 7 Jul ’15

Professional Firefighter

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Francis Lapeyre - 22 Feb ’15

Tulane University

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Francis Lapeyre - 28 Aug ’13

Univ. of Louisiana Lafayette

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New design to accommodate new university name. New plate incorporates black into red and white fleur-de-lis design.

Francis Lapeyre - 14 Sep ’14

Volunteer Firefighter

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"Vol Fire Fighter" across bottom

Francis Lapeyre - 26 Nov ’14

White Tail Deer

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White Tail Deer over red colored Louisiana on left, "Preserve our Hunting Heritage" across the bottom

Xavier FitzSimons - 17 Nov ’14

Military Veteran Plates

Army Veteran

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Graphic "ARMY" stacked on left, then A/R stacked prefix, followed by serial. On plates below A/R10000, "ARMY" is slanted diagonally, as is "PUBLIC" on older Public plates.

Xavier FitzSimons - 17 Nov ’14

Disabled Veteran

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This is a permanent plate on the lipstick base (no validation sticker.) Plates below DV10000 have a dash separator after DV.

Avery - 16 Feb ’22

Ex-Prisoner of War

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Features flag and "XPOW" on left

Smail - 12 Jan ’08

Marine Corps Veteran

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"USMC" diagonal on the left, "U S Veteran" across the bottom.

Xavier FitzSimons - 4 Nov ’14

Military Honors

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Military Honors handicapped plate, appearing to replace the Disabled Veteran plate. This plate includes the wheelchair symbol missing from the Disabled Veteran plate before the M/H and the number. "Military Honors" is printed on the bottom. The wheelchair symbol helps avoid confusion regarding handicapped parking in other states, as the old Disabled Veteran plates did not have this symbol. Anyone with the Disabled Veteran plate can trade it in for the Military Honors plate.

Francis Lapeyre - 3 Jul ’18

Purple Heart

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Willie C. Brock, Jr. - 25 Apr ’15