Jake Wimberley's License Plates

New Jersey Governor Sample

Most states create sample plates for the purposes of displaying different types of plates to the public without actually having to take plates out of the manufacturing sequence, and without risking theft of a plate that could be used illegally. Sometimes states distribute the plates to collectors. At one time, it was possible to request a free sample plate from most U.S. state licensing agencies, but I do not know if this practice continues.

The Governor of many states receives a special plate numbered 1 or some other fancy number. Samples often use all-zero serials, with the same number of digits as there would be characters on a real plate of the type. Hence, the plate above. Note that some samples of passenger plates use "SAMPLE" as the serial.

Georgia was the only state not offering samples the last time I was interested in getting one from a state agency. Canadian provinces all also offered free samples, except the coveted "Polar Bear" plate issued by the Northwest Territories (and now Nunavut, too) cost US$10.

I suppose there are political implications of having a Governor's plate with a zero on it.

last updated 2011.10.04 :: return home