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Brett Kittredge's Mississippi License Plates

Passenger Plates since 1977

Much like my other page focusing on current and recent Mississippi graphics, many of the plates on this page are not in my personal collection. I chose the year 1977 because that was the first year Mississippi began issuing permanent base plates.

Unlike many other states, in Mississippi you can not keep your older plate or even the same number when they release new base plates. The state now changes bases every five years and is do for a new design in October 2008. Unlike some states where plates are issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles, Mississippi motorists pick up their plates at their counties Tax Collector's office. Each county is given a certain alottment of plates, all in a specific numbering pattern. With the 2003 base, a letter series was released for each county. That means that Lafayette County began with 001-LYA, Panola County started with 001-PAA, and so on... However, until 2003 the state issued alottment's starting at AAA for the first county and so on.

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1977-1981 The Hospitality State

These plates were Mississippi's first multi-year issue since the teens and the first graphic plate in the state. They were fully relfective, had a large magnolia in the center (it would leave in 1981 and make a return nearly 20 years later) and said The Hospitality State. There were actually two variations of this plate. The Magnolia in the center of the plate was much darker in the last year or two of its run. You can notice the difference on the 1980 and 1982 plates pictured below. The state name and logo are screened on while the number and county name are all embossed, with the county name at the bottom. The numbering series for this base was AAA-000. This plate won ALPCA's plate of the year in 1977. Mississippi issues their new plates in October which is why a plate was still on the road in June of 1982. So some may have been on the road all the way until September.

1979 1981

1977
green 77 embossed on plate
1978
white on pink
1979
white on green
1980
blue on white
1981
black on yellow
1982
white on blue

1982-1991 Original Curly S

Mississippi began issuing new plates in October of 1982 and these plate ran all the way through 1991. It seemed that Mississippi was part of 1980s trend of boring plate white non-graphic plates. This plate is signigant in that it marked the beginning of the Curly S Mississippi state name, and that is still used today. In 1987 the state began issuing seven digit plates for the final duration of this plate. The first numbering being a 1 indicates that this is a passenger plate. The numbering series for the 1982 Base was AAA-000 and for the 1987 Base was 1AAA-000. The state name is screened on while the number and county name are all embossed, with the county name at the bottom.

1983 1986 1989

1982
white on blue
1983
red on white
1984
black on yellow
1985
blue on white
1986
green on white
1987
black on white
1988
red on white
1989
white on blue
1990
red on white
1991
green on white
1992
purple on white
1993
brown on white

1992-1998 Blue Fade

Mississippi changed base plates in 1992 with the introduction of these baby blue fading into white license plates. As you can see the state continued the Curly S pattern in the state name. This plate features the more common six digit AAA-000 serial format as opposed to the seven digit plates used since 1987. The state name is screened on while the number and county name are all embossed, with the county name at the bottom. In 1995, Mississippi made the decision to change production of these plates from Columbus Marble Works (out of Columbus, MS) to the Waldale Company in Nova Scotia. This plate won ALPCA plate of the year in 1992, giving ALPCA's highest honor to the state for the second time.

1993 1999

1993
red on white
1994
blue on white
1995
white on blue
1996
white on blue
1997
orange on yellow
1998
white on purple
1999
white on red

1998-2003 Tricolor Plates

Mississippi again changed plate bases in 1998 which brought a return of the magnolia in the center of the plate. Their is a fading yellow on the left side of the plate and fading green on the right side in the center which is white and this is why these plates are often refered to as the Tricolor base. The state continued to use Waldale initially, but in 2002 they switched to Irwin-Hodson out of Oregon. You can notice below that after the switch the county names became narrower. These plate were issued in the AAA-000 format.

2003

1998
white on purple
1999
white on red
2000
green on yellow
2001
white on black
2002
black on gold
2003
green on white

2003- Current Base

Mississippi, which is on a five year replacement plan, once agin changed bases in 2003. On this new plate the magnolia shrunk and they added a river at the bottom of the plate with trees at the top. This is easily one of the most colorful regular issue plates on the road today. Although the specialty and many non-passenger plates on this base are all flat, the passenger plates remain embossed. The state reversed the number format to 123-ABC and began issuing letter series for the counties. For example, the first plate from Issaquena County is 001-ISA, and so on. I am working on a list of all the letter series patterns for each county.

2003
green on white
2004
white on red
2005
white on light blue
2006
blue on red
2007
white on black

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Thank you to Mike Sells for contributing pictures to this page.