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Iowa License Plates
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©2018 by Eric N. Tanner
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    VARIATIONS

    1920:  Type 1 - Heavy steel 176757

           Type 2 - Light steel 408973

    1921:  Type 1 - S.G. Adams dies, contrived "2" of date

                                110648 - 201305              (90,658 P)

           Type 2 - S.G. Adams dies, graceful "2" with vertical join at

                    base        378083 -

           Type 3 - Grimm dies, sloping join at base of "2"

                                520406 - 524449               (4,044 P)

    1922:     Thin legends, or thick legends.

              7-digit (narrow dies or extra long) expected in

              Black Hawk county 12-10000 - 12-10200.

    1923:     Heavy steel, or light steel.

    1924:     7-digit (narrow dies or extra long) expected in

              Dubuque county 36-10000 - 36-10600.

    1925:     29-10000 - 29-10461 have non-serif 1st "1".

    1940:     Large or small date.
    1946:     Open or closed "6" of date.

     

    1947:     Steel, plain aluminum or waffle aluminum.

    1948 TAB:  Plain aluminum; late issues waffle aluminum.

    1949:     Waffle aluminum; late issues have no corner holes.

    1950-51:  Late issues steel, not aluminum.

    1958:     Counties 1 - 40 have tab slots; counties 41 - 99 (and

              late issues of 1 - 40) have no tab slots.

    1959:     Polk County issued 60,000 or 65,000 P fully reflective

              galvanized steel plates.

              (Reflective     7/7 860 - 56959, 74503,

               Non-reflective 7/7 73897, 94717 - 97624)

    1960:     Late issues aluminum, not steel.

              Counties 1 - 3 reported with small prefix, not large.

              Reflective plates reported in one county.

    1962:     Late issues have unpainted back, not light gray back.

    1965:     Late issued have unpainted back, not dark blue back.

    1966:     Thick 1958-65 dies or thin 1967-78 dies.

    1967:     Few issues have block "6" of date, not curved "6".

    1971:     #7/1 8756 has "IOWA 71" between bolt holes.

    1972-74:  Late issues have bolt holes, not slots.

    1977:     Late issues have bolt slots, not holes.

     

    1975-77 NON-RESIDENT SERIES

        HNA000 -     HNK803 "NON RESIDENT" at bottom, short dies

       HNL 242 -    HNR 863  No legend at bottom, normal dies

    0/0 HNU445 - 0/0 HNX149  No legend at bottom, normal dies

     

    1979-85 BASE

    1979 Type 1 - Debossed, green back

    1979 Type 2 - Debossed, unpainted back

    1979 Type 3 - Embossed, unpainted back

     

    Debossed types issued in 52 counties:

    7, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18-19, 23, 26, 28-30, 32, 35, 37, 41-42, 44, 46,

    48-52, 54-56, 58, 60-62, 70, 76-83, 85, 87, 89-93, 95-98, 00.

     

    1986-97 BASE

    1985 Type 1 - Aluminum, bolt slots, unpainted back

    1985 Type 2 - Light steel, bolt slots, white back

         Type 3 - Light steel, bolt slots, unpainted back

         Type 4 - Heavy steel, bolt holes, unpainted back

         Type 5 - Aluminum, bolt holes, unpainted back

     

    STICKERS

    2002:     2 different formats reported.

    2005-06:  Large date with random serial, or small date with serial

              matching plate number.