Texas License Plates

The new 2012 general issue base is being called the "Texas Classic" plate. Counties must exhaust their remaining supply of the 2009 base before issuing them. This base will be issued for Passenger and Truck in the same format.

The new 2009 7 character base is still in use. Current supplies of the ABC-123 base were still issued until they were exhausted. This new base was mainly for new registrations, but anyone could pay an additional fee to upgrade to the new plates. Otherwise, existing plates will be replaced by the new base after they have been in use for 7 years. The format of this new issue is BC1-D234.

Vincent Perillo reports that around the BT series, the color on the Texas Sky has changed to a darker more true blue color.

True blue low: BT2-G896

True blue high: BW9-T969

After this the color returned to the normal shade with more green in it as was seen on the BB-BS series until the shade changed dramatically at CJ3.

Original blue low: BW9-V863

Gregory McWaters reported that the blue sky has been lightened around the CJ series to enhance legibility. He reports the blue Texas sky is more cloudy or maybe it would be better to describe as "hazy". Very little blue remains except at the top edge. The license number is completely on a white backround. The Davis mountain range remains along with the red and dark blue in the top left along with the lone star. "TEXAS" is outlined in a thin line of blue to help it stand out.


Darker blue sky: CJ3-V996 Truck darker blue sky: AX3-7762

Lighter blue sky: CJ3-W031 Truck lighter blue sky: AX4-5339

David Wilson sent us this information from the TX DOT website (note especially the reference to the small circled number at the bottom of the plates):<ul><li>Mar 2006. The Vehicle Titles and Registration Division is beginning a statewide program to replace all exempt license plates that are seven (7) years old and older. Plates replaced under this program will be remade with the same plate number and will reflect a two-digit plate replacement year identifier. The new design will be used only on remakes until the previous design inventory is exhausted. After the initial replacement, we estimate that 40,000 exempt plates will be replaced annually as plates reach seven (7) years of age. Currently, exempt license plates are replaced only if they are lost, stolen or mutilated. Due to the reflectivity diminishing, a replacement year identifier will now be placed on the exempt license plates. This identifier corresponds to seven (7) years from the year when the exempt license plates were manufactured. This also serves as a reminder to exempt agencies that the exempt plates need to be replaced.</li>

<li>Apr 2006. The color of the replacement year identifier has been changed from red to blue as it can be printed on the sheeting by the manufacturer, which will save both time and cost in the plate production.</li>

<li>Dec 2006. Seven digits instead of six. The Texas Department of Transportation has moved to the issuance of seven-digit plates due to the limited availability of six-digit sequence numbers. The issuance of the new plate will begin when the exempt plates are issued by the counties, which is scheduled for early December 2006. All currently issued six-digit plates will remain valid. The new patterns for the exempt plates are: 100*0001 - 899*9999 Double Exempt; 900*0001 - 999*9999 Single Exempt.</li>

<li>Jan 2007. Standard exempt plates are seven-digit plates with the word "Exempt" at the top of each plate, along with a replacement year identifier at the bottom of each plate. Standard Exempt license plate registration does not expire; however, the replacement year identifier will serve as a reminder to the exempt agency that the plates should be replaced due to the loss of reflectivity. The county tax office will also process regular exempt license plates that expire annually. Regular exempt license plates are general issue license plates issued in an exempt agency's name.</li>

<li>MOTORCYCLE, Jul 2006. Redesign of the exempt motorcycle license plate. The new plate has the replacement year identifier.</li>

Standard Passenger Plates

2012 Series

TCL 5134
Report a new high History

Spotted in Denton County TX


Black on white

This new general issue base is being called the "Texas Classic" plate. Counties must exhaust their remaining supply of the 2009 base before issuing them.

Vincent Perillo reports the serial font is bolder than on the 2009 plate, also the space between each character is larger than on the previous issue.

Brian Lasaine informs us that the "Texas Classic" plate will be used for both Passenger and Truck, however, as with Passenger plates, each county must use their supply of 2009 base Truck plates before issuing the new base to Trucks.

Low: BBB-0048 2013-11-13 Brian Lasaine (seen in Houston)

Krista - 13 May ’23

2000 Series

VLX 999
Report a new high History

The Texas shaped separator is the color of the state flag, instead of previous solid red. Another new change is that the shuttle has the American flag on the side.

The change to the new graphic base was at the J99-GPZ/J01-GRB break. The 123-BBB format followed Z99-ZZZ. BBB-123 follows 999-ZZZ.

High for 123-BBB series: 097-ZZX 2014-12-18 Gunther Frostyburger

Phillip Mendoza - 16 Aug ’12

2009 Series

DZ5 H930
Report a new high History

Now in use. Progression appears to with the number in the prefix increasing, so after BB1-Z999 would come BB2-B001.

Wally Punzmann reports a low of BB1-B191. Remember that Texas does not use vowels on Pass. plates, but they are now on truck. The lowest Pass. plate should be BB1-B001.

The series progressed from DT to DW, skipping DU because U is a vowel, and DV because that is used for Disabled Veteran.

Ben Maltz - 8 Oct ’13

Non-passenger Plates

Antique Auto

Report a new high History

Spotted in Austin

Frank Williams - 21 Apr ’23

Apportioned Truck

Report a new high History


On the new Texas Classic base. From Brian Lasaine:

Date: June 27, 2013 To: All County Tax Assessor-Collectors Subject: Issuance of Front and Rear Apportioned Plates PURPOSE To advise all counties and law enforcement that certain classifications of Apportioned vehicles will now be issued two license plates. DETAILS Beginning Monday, July 1, 2013, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) will start issuing a front and a rear Apportioned license plate to certain vehicle classifications. Apportioned Truck (TK) and Apportioned Bus (BS) vehicle classifications in TxIRP will be issued two Apportioned plates. This change is to assist law enforcement to easily identify vehicle information by the license plate number from the rear of the vehicle since previously a single Apportioned plate was displayed only on the front. The types of vehicles the new double Apportioned license plates will be issued to may include buses and pickups (e.g., vehicles that "traditionally do not pull trailers"). Both the new double Apportioned plate and the existing single Apportioned plates will be seven characters. The double Apportioned plate pattern will begin with the letter "K" and the existing single Apportioned plate pattern will begin with the letter "R". For tax assessor-collectors, beginning July 1, 2013, in RTS, you will notice "APPORTIONED TRK DOUBLE PLT" as a new Plate Type on the Class/Plate/Sticker Type Choice (REG008) screen when processing a title transaction on a vehicle to be registered as Apportioned. If you have any questions, please contact your local TxDMV Regional Service Center. COUNTY ACTION Distribute to staff as appropriate. LAW ENFORCEMENT ACTION Distribute to all law enforcement personnel as appropriate. CONTACT If you have questions, please contact your local TxDMV Regional Service Center.

Low: R00-4534 2014-06-14 Gunther Frostyburger

Two plate Apportioned: K04-nnnn 2015-07-01 Vincent Perillo

Low: K00-0904

Peter Avila - 14 Apr ’23


Report a new high History

Spotted in Sunset Valley, TX


Embossed high: 2F4 764

Now using black serial and state name instead of blue.

Frank Williams - 21 Apr ’23


Report a new high History

Spotted in Austin

Now on the Texas Classic base. The latest news from Jim Palmer is that Handicapped plates reached 9 ZZZZ and rolled back over to 1 BBBB.Earlier, the wheelchair was moved from the middle to the first character old #XXCXX to C#XXXX C being the wheelchair, but position has shifted again to the left end somewhere between 2 YL-WP and 6 YTKY.

Frank Williams - 11 May ’23


156 8977EXEMPT
Report a new high History

On Texas Classic base

100-1000 through 899-9999 issued in pairs. 900-1000 through 999-9999 issued as singles.

Exempt Motorcycle high: XY4428

Exempt Trailer high: 906-3071

Brian Lasaine reports Exempt plates with unique 5 digit numbers for the Texas DPS (State Trooper) with the Texas Highway Patrol patch on the plate. He spotted 02420 on 2010-09-17.

Old style high: 117-9718 This one didn't have the Number in the Circle for the last year of usage.

Creighton Rabs - 9 Mar ’23

Farm Trailer

Report a new high History

Spotted in Austin

On Texas Classic base

Frank Williams - 5 May ’23

Farm Truck

Report a new high History

On Texas Classic base

Format was A1A ###, where the second digit is always 1. That series has been exhausted, so now the 1AA-nnn format is in use again. That series was used in the mid-1970s, but has since been replaced.

Embossed high: X1J-246

Flat low: X1K-232

Peter Avila - 16 May ’23

Fleet - Truck

Report a new high History

Spotted in Austin

Texas has introduced a Fleet Plate, which has a 3 year expiration cycle. "Truck" appears on the plate, but it is unknown if there is a Passenger version of this type.

There is also a Passenger version of the Fleet plate in the same format.

Frank Williams - 4 May ’23

Highway Patrol

Report a new high History


Heriberto Tapia - 30 Sep ’22


Report a new high History


Now on the 7 character Texas Classic base.

Frank Williams - 16 Sep ’22


Report a new high History

Now on the Texas Classic base.

Jim Palmer reports that Texas m/c have passed 999 Z4Z and rolled back over to the original 1975 format. Motorcycle plates are now flat.

Highest embossed seen: 3AJ 759

Lowest flat seen: 3AL 041

Peter Avila - 5 Mar ’23

Private Bus (embossed)

U88 098
Report a new high History

Brian Lasaine - 28 Jul ’15

Private Bus (flat)

Report a new high History

Changeover from "sky blue" to "Texas classic" design occurred somewhere between U21-075 and U26-031.

U04-812 flat low

Peter Avila - 13 Jul ’22

Rental Trailer

Report a new high History

From Jim Sadler: This apparently new serial format was spotted on the 2012 black on white base plate. The words RENTAL TRAILER are at the top of the plate under the name TEXAS. All other identification and slogans are as on the passenger plate. These plates have a white/black box in upper right corner 3 18 for the expiration.

Low: R00-0097 2014-05-02 Paul Petrinovich

Kyle Wasson - 20 Sep ’22

State Official

SO 315C
Report a new high History

State Seal in Upper Left Corner. Red and Blue on White.

Joseph Guillaume - 1 Aug ’20


Report a new high History

00B0007 reported as a low in Houston by Brian Lasaine.

Paul Wilson - 3 Jan ’23

Temporary (30 Day Permit)

Report a new high History

30 Day Permit-used on a car with out of state plates, Temporary says Texas Buyer on the top, those are for cars that are purchased without plates, as the plate stays with the vehicle, not the owner in Texas.

Now using D suffix, following G suffix.

Brett Weisbrot - 6 Apr ’23

Tow Truck

Report a new high History

Now on the Texas Classic base.

Peter Avila - 15 Oct ’21


Report a new high History

Trailer plates are now on the Texas Classic base. They are also up to a 7 character serial consisting of six numbers and one letter. The Texas separator is located between the 3rd and 4th number. The "TEXAS" at the top of the plate is the same size as on passenger-truck plates. "Trailer" is under the state name in small font all caps. The dimensional star is in the upper left corner, sticker box in the upper right. "The Lone Star State" slogan is at the bottom.

A LOW of 046-166H was seen on the Old Base which uses Blue and Red "TRAILER" on White.

Peter Avila - 1 Feb ’23


Report a new high History

Now using the new 2009 base.

Brian Lasaine spotted the first Truck plate, AA0-0001 in Houston. Vincent Perillo saw AA1-2345 in Houston.

The state's policy of not using A, E, and U in numbering systems that have 3 or more letters does not apply to Trucks, which now have 2 letters.

Former embossed base high - 475 3BF

Note: The new "Texas Classic" 2012 base will also be issued to Trucks in the same format as Passenger, but each county must exhaust their supply of 2009 Truck plates before issuing them to Trucks.

Heriberto Tapia - 30 Sep ’22

Specialty Plates

Animal Friendly

Report a new high History

The current high is the new flat style. The embossed high is D1GFW. Jim Palmer reports that there appear to be two series of Animal Friendly plates. The first began at D1BBB, but there has been a more recent jump that appears to have started with D1ZBB. David Babcock suggests that the latter may be a backwards issue since the only ones reported have been ZX or ZW.

From Brian Lasaine: When the 7 year replacement cycle comes along, the plates are replaced with the same number.

Brian Lasaine - 29 Oct ’13

Generic Special Issue (5-char)

Report a new high History

Texas has adopted a system similar to Colorado and Montana, whereby a number of special issue plates are using sequentially assigned blocks of numbers. Examples of Texas issues in this system are the "horned toad" plate, the "Fish Texas" bass plate, the "Hunt Texas" deer plate, as well as many others, now including State of the Arts.

Bradley Gallagher reports that there are formats other than AB12C in use for some special issues. Enjoy TX Music, for example, uses A12BC; Lone Star Proud for Kids, TX Aerospace Comm., and Olympic Spirit: AB1CD; Big Bend Nat'l Park: A123B; Scouting and State Capitol: A1BCD.

From Wally Punzmann: It seems there are two series of Generic Special Issue, as seen on the inside cover of Plates magazine August 2012 Issue: a 5-character series (BC12D as shown here already), and a 6-character series (BC12DF). Low 6-character series spotted is BB09BH. Low 5-character series is BB37C.

High: GJ02DX 2015-10-12 Willie C. Brock, Jr.

Motorcycle: B11DM 2015-09-15 Tiger Joe Sallmen

Xavier R. Dubé - 4 May ’23

Generic Special Issue (6-char)

Report a new high History

Texas has adopted a system similar to Colorado and Montana, whereby a number of special issue plates are using sequentially assigned blocks of numbers.

Xavier R. Dubé - 4 May ’23

Generic Special Issue (7-char)

Report a new high History

Spotted In Austin

Texas has adopted a system similar to Colorado and Montana, whereby a number of special issue plates are using sequentially assigned blocks of numbers.

Frank Williams - 3 May ’23

Military Veteran Plates

Disabled Veteran

345 DV49
Report a new high History

Spotted in Austin

TX Disabled Veteran plates are now on The Texas Classic base. "TEXAS" and the plate number are now in black. "DISABLED VETERAN US ARMED FORCES" remains along the bottom in red. The dimensional star is located in the upper right corner.

From Gregory McWaters: The current pattern being assigned to new applicants is between DV-A1A1 and DV-Z9Z9. When this pattern is exhausted, it will switch to A1A1-DV through Z9Z9-DV. After that, the plan is to go to 7 digits, pattern to be determined. All previously issued numbers are now being reissued to current plate owners once the old plate reaches 7 years (mandatory replacement). TXDMV is also now allowing DV plates to be transferred when a vehicle is purchased. Previously, new plates had to be applied for in order to verify eligibility. Now that plates are assigned to the owner for all vehicles, eligibility can be verified by name. Previous DV patterns were: DV-0001 to DV-9999, 0001-DV to 9999-DV, DV-001A to DV-999Z, A001-DV to Z999-DV, BBB1-DV to ZZZ9-DV, and DV-1BBB to DV9ZZZ.

Recent highs have been all run together, no separator, but the current high was reported with a separator. Wheelchair Symbol on LEFT. 3 Dimensional Star is on Top RIGHT.

Somewhere in this series the run together series ended and went back to normal separation. The DV-YnXn series was back to normal.

Series has now reversed to DV suffix.

This type continues to be erratic. Although B5K2-DX appeared as shown, a later high had no space or separator. Now the separator is back.

Frank Williams - 12 May ’23

Disabled Veteran ISA

Report a new high History

Spotted in Duncanville

The International Symbol of Access at the left accords the owner parking privileges.

Frank Williams - 23 May ’23

Prisoner of War Medal

Report a new high History


Ex-P.O.W. Embossed: PM 791G

Vincent Perillo - 30 Jun ’11

Purple Heart

Report a new high History


On the new Texas Classic base.

The original series was PH1 BBB. It appears that the series reversed to BBB 1PH.

Frank Williams - 1 Dec ’22

Inactive Series (off the road)

Passenger - state flag

Report a new high History

Eric Tanner - 27 Aug ’00