The Ultimate Ranking of All 50 U.S. License Plates

best license plates

American license plates are more than just practical. They are surprisingly artistic, each with its own unique design. In this definitive ranking of all 50 United States license plates, we will explore the best license plates America has to offer. Get ready to discover the most colorful classics, the symbolic and tidy designs, and the vibrant and distinctive plates. But first, let’s understand the criteria for this ranking.

The Criteria

The rankings were carefully chosen by a blue-ribbon commission consisting of myself. Factors considered include the plate’s aesthetic appeal, symbolism of the state, ease of identification, printing method, and the presence of slogans, nicknames, or websites. Only “standard” plates were considered, excluding no-cost-option plates. Now, let’s dive into the rankings!

Tier 1: The Colorful Classics

  1. Colorado: Colorado takes the top spot with its unique, colorful, and iconic design that has stood the test of time.
  2. New Mexico: New Mexico’s teal plate with its distinct Zia symbol and clean design earns it a well-deserved second place.
  3. Vermont: Vermont’s simple yet elegant design, with its distinctive green color and tree emblem, secures its spot in the top three.
  4. Hawaii: Hawaii stands out with its vibrant rainbow design, instantly recognizable and full of island vibes.
  5. Delaware: Delaware’s timeless dark blue and gold plate exudes consistently classic and elegant vibes.
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Tier 2: Symbolic, Distinctive, and Tidy

  1. Rhode Island: Rhode Island’s plate showcases its iconic wave design, symbolizing its connection to the ocean.
  2. New York: New York’s newly released plate features a visually stunning representation of the state, including its diverse landscapes and famous landmarks.
  3. Nevada: Nevada impresses with its modern, colorful plate that cleverly incorporates mountain motifs and the state name.
  4. Maine: Maine’s “Chickadee Plate” showcases a beautiful bird on a branch, perfectly representing the state’s natural beauty.
  5. Wisconsin: Wisconsin’s classic and unique plate design, featuring the state’s outline and a sailboat, earns it a place in the top ten.

Tier 3: A Little Too Classic

  1. Alaska: Alaska’s classic design, featuring an iconic yellow color, is timeless, although it could use a modern update.
  2. Montana: Montana’s design fails to utilize its beautiful landscape effectively, resulting in a cluttered and unbalanced plate design.
  3. Texas: Texas’ plain design with bold colors fails to leave a lasting impression, although it has some redeeming qualities.
  4. Minnesota: Minnesota’s design, once great, is now cluttered with unnecessary elements, ultimately detracting from its original appeal.

FAQs

Which state has the best license plate design?

Colorado takes the top spot with its unique, colorful, and iconic design that has stood the test of time.

What criteria were used to rank the license plates?

The rankings were based on aesthetic appeal, symbolism, ease of identification, printing method, and the presence of slogans, nicknames, or websites.

Are there any special plates worth mentioning?

Yes, there are several special plates available in different states, including the popular “black plate” and the Yosemite plate in California.

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Conclusion

License plates reflect the identity and character of each state. From the colorful classics to the symbolic designs, each plate has its own story to tell. Colorado, with its vibrant and long-standing design, takes the crown as the best license plate in America. Whether you agree or have your own favorites, license plates are a unique expression of state pride and individuality.

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