Brett Kittredge's Mississippi License Plates
You can't drive to far down a Mississippi road and not see some specialty license plate. Whether it is to show support for your favorite college, a wildlife conservation organization or the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Mississippi has a wide variety. There are also many unique non passengers such as motorcycle trailer, antique truck, etc.
I have done a good deal of research on the current Mississippi tags and decided to add this page to my website to passs that information on. Unlike most of the other pages on my website, most of these plates do not belong to me. They are either from other collectors or candid pictures I take when I see an interesting plate. You can view the State of Mississippi Current Tag List but it will only list the plates in alphabetical order with a sample picture and no detail. The purpose of this page is to catagorize all those plates, give you a photo of an actual plate and a little detail (when neccessary).
I will be adding to this page constantly but please feel free to send me pictures of any plates missing from this page.
I have broken this page down into the following catagories: Education related, Wildlife, NASCAR, Military, Other Special Issue and Government ( for both official and personal vehicles).
Mississippi Non-Passenger Plates
Mississippi Plates since 1977
Mississippi Reference Page
In the past, Mississippi specialty plates were the same color base as the regular issue plates but with the causes logo on the left and the slogan on the bottom with no county indiactor. In 2003 when the state replaced the regular issue plates they are did some changing to the specialty plates. They are now all flat, while the passenger's are still embossed, and they are on a white background completly different from the current base. They are however, still all uniform. They also have county codes in the upper right hand corner of the plate. Click here to see the state's county codes.
The NASCAR plates are a little different in that the background is suppose to look like a waving checkered flag (instead of plain white).
A few notes: All of this information is my knowledge to the best of my ability and may not or no longer be true. If you see a mistake please let me know. All of the statistics and the prices are from the Mississippi State Tax Commission. From that website, you can purchase a Mississippi Sample license plate for $5.00.
Mississippi License Plates: Education related
Mississippi has been offering extra cost college license plates since 1992 when they were released on the Blue Fade base. That base, along with the 98 Tri color base featured many more options then the current offerings. When these new plates were released in 2003 they decided to do away with junior colleges (presumably due to a lack of interest in the past). They began offering a limited number of African-American fraternities and sororities in 1998 and continue to this day. The only high school in the state to have their own plate is the Petal School District in Petal, Mississippi. This plate was released in 2003. The college plates are among the only (that are available to all motorists) that do not have a stacked Alpha suffix (the fraternity/ sorority and Petal School plates do).
For the Record: College and University plates cost and extra $51.00 (fraternity/ sorority and Petal Schools cost an extra $31.00) and have had over 43,000 registered (as of January 1, 2005). Over 4,000 fraternity or sorority plates have been registered as of that same time.
(Delta State, Mississippi College, William Carey, Miss. University for Women, Miss. State, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Tougaloo, Petal Schools, Ole Miss, Alcorn St., Jackson St., Rust, Southern Miss, Alpha Phi Alpha)
Mississippi also offers the following education plates: Bellhaven College, Millsaps College, Miss. Valley State, Omega Psi Phi fraternity, Zeta Phi Beta sorority
1998 Base College series
(Alcorn State, Bellhaven, Blue Mountain, Coahoma Community College, Delta State, Jackson State, Millsaps, Mississippi College, Miss. Gulf Coast Community College, Miss. State, Miss. University for Women, Miss. Valley State, Ole Miss, Rust, Southern Miss., Tougaloo, William Carey, Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority)
1992 Base College series
(Alcorn State, Bellhaven, Blue Mountain College, Delta State, Hinds Community College, Jackson State, Mississippi College, Mississippi State, Mississippi University for Women, Miss. Valley State, Ole Miss, Southern Miss, Tougaloo, William Carey)
The fraternity/ sorority and Petal School plates have the stacked Alpha suffix, as I said earlier and are still in the 0000 serial format (followed the two letter suffix). Since the university plates do not have the suffix they each have their own specific serial format.
Ole Miss and Mississippi State both have out of state plates available in Tennessee, the only other state to offer plates for any Mississippi school. Ole Miss has since changed their logo to the offical school logo, the lyceum, that appears on the Mississippi license plates.
Mississippi License Plates: Wildlife
I would assume Mississippi has about as many wildlife plates as any other in the country- and for obvious reasons. With thousands upon thousands of acres for prime hunting, it is a sportman's paradise (sorry Louisiana). Whether it is Deer, Mallard or Turkey (or a variety of other animals) they are popular game in the Magnolia State and they are all offered on the wildlife series license plates. Most of these plates were first offered in 1998 on the previous base, with a few new plates in 2003 and a couple new designs. These plates have a stacked Alpha suffix (i.e. the Wild Deer is W/D) and say Conserving Wildlife at the bottom. The Ducks Unlimited and Soil Conservation plate are not truly part of the Wildlife series but are often tied in because of their design and cause. The Ducks Unlimited plate has a DU suffix with Wetlands Conservation on the bottom and the Soil Conservation plate has an SC suffix with Conservation Education on the bottom.
For the Record: These plates cost an extra $31.00 and there have been over 46,000 Wildlife plates registered as of January 1, 2005. Over 5,000 Ducks Unlimited plates and nearly 1,000 Soil Conservation plates had been registered as of that same time.
(Wild Deer, Wild Bass, Wild Salmon, Wild Eagle, Wild Hummingbird, Wild Turkey, Wild Yellow Butterfly, Wild Rabbit, Wild Mallard, Ducks Unlimited, Soil Consrvation)
Wild Hen and Wild Tom Turkey Plates: The Wild Turkey plate pictured above is the only turkey plate offered on the 2003 base. On the previous base however, there was two different turkey plates. They are shown below.
1998 Base Wildlife series
(Wild Deer, Wild Bass, Wild Salmon, Wild Hummingbird, Wild Turkey- both bases, Wild Yellow Butterfly, Wild Mallard, Ducks Unlimited, Soil Conservation)
Mississippi License Plates: NASCAR
Mississippi began issuing NASCAR plates in 2003 and they quickly became one of the top sellers in the state. With the intense loyalty of NASCAR fans (I don't know many Tony Stewart fans who would shop at Lowe's), it is no wonder that they were quick to put these plates on the back of their car or truck. These plates are unique in that they are constantly being changed as drivers change teams, numbers or paint scemes (instead of being replaced every five years). However, with the number of drivers added on to the number of new plates make keeping up with these plates almost impossible. I will add more plates as I get more pictures, but for the most up to date base plates, please check out the NASCAR Driver License Plate page from the Mississippi Motor Vehicle License home page.
Like the wildlife plates, the NASCAR plates feature a stacked Alpha suffix with an N and the drivers number (i.e. Kyle Petty is N/45). While most of these plates are the similar you may notice that the Number 53 plate does not say NASCAR at the bottom of it. That driver is Robert Burroughs, a native Mississippian who was the only driver not on the Winston Cup (I mean Nextel) Series- however his plate is no longer being offered. Also, while most of the extra money one pays for a special plate goes to a certain cause only $0.70 (out of $36) goes to NASCAR with the majority ($24.25) going to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. ($4.90 of the generic NASCAR plate goes to the sport body).
For the Record: These plates cost an extra $36.00 and there have been over 26,000 NASCAR plates registered as of January 1, 2005. I do not have individual numbers, but just by seeing high numbered (and many with letters) plates I would believe Dale Earnhardt, Dale Jr. and Jeff Gordon are the top selling drivers.
Mississippi License Plates: Military
Mississippi's oldest and longest running specialty plates are the military plates. They began issuing National Guard plates in 1963. They started issuing Disabled American Veteran (100% DAV) license plates in 1972. These are the earliest military plates, but over the past two decades more plates have been added to honor nearly all military awards and represent all branches of our armed forces. Despite these high number of military plates (which makes since for a state with a proud pro-military history), they have not issued plates or special stickers for veterans of the first Gulf War or the War on Terror.
Special Distinction Stickers: You may notice below that a number of the veteran and retired armed forces plates have stickers attached to the left side of the plate. The yellow stickers indicate a branch of service and the other stickers represent a war they served in.
Please see the Reference Page for a breakdown of special plate fees and the organization the money goes to as they tend to vary greatly for military plates.
(Active Reserve, Bronze Star, 100% DAV, Distinguished Flying Cross, Ex POW, Medal of Honor- LOW NUMBER, National Guard Embossed, National Guard Flat, Purple Heart, Navy and Vietnam Veteran, Marine Corp and Vietnam Veteran, Navy and WWII Veteran)
Mississippi also offers the following military plates: Air Medal, Killed in Action, Pearl Harbor Survivor, Silver Star, Veteran Foreign Wars
As you can see the Medal of Honor plate is Number 1 and as of January 1, 2005 only two of such plates had been registered. As of that same time less than 500 had been on the road of the following military plates: Air Medal (85), Distinguished Flying Cross (79), Killed in Action (19), Pearl Harbor (33), Silver Star (27), Bronze Star (347), making them very scarce.
The Purple Heart, Ex- POW and Medal of Honor all say "No Decal Required" in the sticker boxes. I know more military plates do not require stickers and as I find out that information I will pass it on.
Military: U.S. Armed Forces Retired
(Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy and WWII, Navy, Reserve)
Mississippi also offers the following retired military plates: Coast Guard, Merchant Marines
Retired Armed Forces License Plate through the years:
(1982 Base, 1992 Base, 1998 Base)
Older Military Plates:
(National Guard 1963 (first issue), 1973, 1976, 1998 Base, 2003 Base Embossed, 2003 Base Flat)
The National Guard plates, first issued in 1963, featured the same general background but with a different color for many years. The Guard plate began resembling regular issue plates with the release of the Blue fade plate in 1993. It is now the only military plate to still resemble the current base (instead of the flat white plate). Although it has the small magnolia base background it is now all flat. The soldier and jet have appeared the same since the plates first issue.
(100% DAV 1980, 1986, 1998 Base, 2003 Base)
The DAV plates were released in 1972 and featured basically the same background for a decade or so. Later plates would not have the border, as this plate does. The waving blue flag ran through the Blue fade base until 1998 with the tricolor base that adopted the newer logo that is in use today.
Mississippi License Plates: Other Special Issues
Mississippi offers a number of special issue plates that do not exactly fit into a particular catagory. As you can see these plates sponsor a variety of causes. Most of these plates were released in 2003 and many were released later than that. The God Bless America, I Love Mississippi and Cattleman's Foundation were also offered on the 1998 base.
Sunflower School? The God Bless America and I Love Mississippi plates are odd in that they are only three digits and do not have a stacked Alpha suffix (like all of the other plates pictured below). They also say Sunflower School at the bottom which seems strange for the message on the plate. Their is a Sunflower County but this is not exactly where the money goes. The majority of the money from these plates goes to the Sunflower Consolidated School Preservation Committee, Inc. The Sunflower Consolidated School was formed in 1922 when three one room schools in South Coahoma County (in the delta) merged (or consolidated into one). The school operated for 41 years and was unique it that the school year was set around cotton season. The school closed its doors in 1962, but in 1990 the Sunflower Consolidated School Preservation Committee leased the school property and began restoring it. And they use proceeded from these plates to raise money for that cause. Nearly 4,000 Sunflower Schools plates had been registered as of January 1, 2005.
The Choose Life plates have been the most popular in terms of number of plates registered with over 35,000 plates on the road as of April 30, 2006. The plate pictured below is a very low number. I have seen the C0000 series and although there has to be different issues, I am not sure of them.
I was debating for a second about whether or not to put the Sons of Confederate Veterans plate in the military section, but this is where it belongs. For one, their are not any Confederate Vets living and also it is available to all motorists whether or not they are a member of the organization.
(4-H, I Care for Animals, Blair E. Baston Children's Hospital, Donate Blood, Breast Cancer Awareness, Cattleman Foundation, Choose Life, Defeat Diabetes, First in Forestry, Friends of the Med, God Bless America, I Love Mississippi, Knights of Columbus, Nurses Touch Lives, Professional Hair Designer, Realtor's Association, Sons of Confederate Veterans, St. Jude Children's Hospital)
Mississippi also offers the following specialty plates: Autism Awareness (AA), Down Syndrome Awareness (DA), Grand Lodge of Mississippi- Freemason (GL), Profession of Pharmacy (AE), Support Teachers (ED)
Mississippi License Plates: Government
My governmet plate section is rather limited because many of these plates, especially official plates, are not readily accessible to most people. However, as I take more pictures and learn more about them I will add it to this section.
Personal Vehicles- Missisisppi offers a number of plates that are kind of government plates but not really. These are plates that certain government officials can purchase for an extra fee for their personal vehicle. In that sense that are simply specialty plates except that there are qualifications for the plates. These personal plates have been offered on the 1992 Blue fade and the 1998 Tricolor base. While the 98 base plates are similar to the current base (except for the background color), the 92 base featured the prefix LAW for the three law enforcement plates and the Firefighter plate had the prefix FIRE and they both had the logo in the center.
These plates do not have the normal stacked Alpha suffix nad they are also eBay legal.
(Firefighter, Police Department, Sheriff's Office, State)
Mississippi also offers a personal plate for Retired State Troopers. These plates have the Highway Patrol logo on the left and they feature the stacked Alpha suffix- RT- on the white background. These plates were first made available on the current 2003 base.
Official Vehicles- These government plates are true government plates meaning they are all for official state vehicles. As you can see there is no real pattern to these plates and they are not all uniform, nor do they look, like the other specialty plates. These plates are not eBay legal.
(Fire District Sample?, Government, Temporary Truck)
You may notice that the Fire District plate is Number 12345, and although that would be a cool number plate if it was real, it is believed to be a sample/ prototype and although I have seen others, I do not know the actual date they were used (they are not listed on the MS Tag List).
Mississippi also offers the following government plates: Department of Transportation (DOT), Highway Patrol (MHP), Public Service Commision (PSC). The three letters represent the three letter prefix that appears on all their respective license plates.
Send me an e-mail with any questions, comments or suggestions.
Thank you to Barret Wilkinson, Mike Sells and Boris Golubchik for contributing pictures to this page.