|Louisiana 1968/69 passenger issue. From 1964 through 1973, Louisiana issued bi-annual plates to passenger vehicles. The "Sportsman's Paradise" slogan started off as "Sportsmen's Paradise" in 1958 and changed to "Sportsman's" the next year. After a break for the "LSU Centennial" issue in 1960, "Sportsmen's" was used from 1961-63, then back to "Sportsman's" from 1964-73. Louisiana plates of this era carried a single-letter code in the middle of the serial indicating the state police troop area where the plate was issued. This plate was issued in area "B", which is the New Orleans region. Click here for a complete listing of Louisiana State Police Troop codes.
|Louisiana 1970/71 passenger issue. This plate was used from the end of 1969 through the end of 1971. It was also issued in the New Orleans police troop area, code "B".
|Louisiana 1972/73 passenger issue. This issue was used from the end of 1971 through the end of 1973, and turned out to be the last bi-annual Louisiana issue. This plate was issued in area "C", which is Raceland.
|Louisiana 1977 passenger issue (1974/75 base). In 1974, new baseplates were issued that carried two embossed years, as previous bi-annual issues had. These plates were different, however, in that they included sticker boxes in the bottom corners and were intended for multi-year use. These plates were issued through 1977 and ended up being valid with stickers through the end of 1996. The slogan on the plate was changed to "Bayou State" as well. This plate was issued in police troop code "X", which corresponds to both the Baton Rouge area and statewide mail-order plates, so theoretically this plate could have been used anywhere in the state.
|Louisiana 1980 passenger issue. In 1977, the embossed dates were removed from the baseplate and an undated "Bayou State" plate was issued. This baseplate was issued through 1980 and remained valid with proper stickers through 1996. This is an "I" issue, from the Lafayette area.
|Louisiana 1982 passenger issue. In 1980, new registrants received plates in the same style as the 1975 and 1977 issues, but again undated and with the slogan changed back to "Sportsman's Paradise", which remains the current slogan. These plates were issued through late 1983, and again were used through 1996. This plate came from troop area "H", Leesville, which was one of the less-populated areas, hence the five-digit serial number. This plate was odd in that, although Louisiana went with a single sticker for the month and year of expiration starting in 1982, this motorist was issued a separate month sticker anyway.
|Louisiana 1986 passenger issue (1984 base). In late 1983, new plates were introduced commemorating the 1984 World's Fair. The plates were the first screened graphic issue plates in Louisiana history and carried the logo of the fair in the bottom lefthand corner. These plates were issued through 1984 and, as with the other issues of this era, were valid through 1996 with stickers. This plate came from police troop "A", the Baton Rouge area.
|Louisiana 1986 passenger issue (1984 base). During the time that the World's Fair plates were being issued, Louisiana changed to a new, shorter die set. These newer dies remain in use today. This plate came from police troop "N", which was an additional code added in the 1980s for the New Orleans area.
|Louisiana 1987 passenger issue. At the end of the World's Fair issue in 1984, Louisiana switched to this base, which was identical to the 1980 issue except for the colors, which switched to the same blue on white used for the World's Fair issue. These plates were issued from late 1984 through 1989 and were, again, replaced in 1996. This plate was issued in police troop area "G", around Shreveport.
|Louisiana 1993 passenger issue. This graphic "USA" base was introduced in 1989 and issued through 1993. It featured mother pelicans with their young at each top corner of the plate, as well as the capitalized "U", "S" and "A" in the state name. This issue was the last to feature the police troop code as part of the embossed serial, with this plate being another Baton Rouge "A" series plate. Some earlier issues of this base had an odd debossed area for the sticker at the bottom left corner of the plate. These plates were also replaced with all other 1974-93 bases in 1995-96.
|Louisiana 1993 passenger issue. Continuation of the series, this plate has the more commonly seen sticker well at the lower right, offset from the edges of the plate. This plate was another 'X' series issue, indicating Baton Rouge or Statewide Mail issuance.
|Louisiana 1995 passenger issue. Starting in 1993, these new baseplates, nicknamed the "Lipstick Plate", were issued. This nickname is shared with current California issues, both of which have their respective state names scrawled across the top of the plate as if in red lipstick. This Louisiana issue switched to a standard ABC-123 format, with early plates issued a sticker with the old state police troop code on it (this plate is again from area "G", Shreveport). These stickers were later discontinued, circa 1995-96 when the older plates with the embossed codes were replaced. These Lipstick plates remain valid today.
|Louisiana 1997 passenger issue. Later in the series, an outside border was added to the Lipstick base. The border was added in an erratic fashion, with the entire "A" series of plates being borderless, then most of the "B" series having the border, then a good portion of the "C" series being borderless again. By the "Dxx" series, the border seems to have been put in place to stay. This is the current design of plate in use today.
|Louisiana 1997 passenger issue. Starting in mid-1995, the police troop code stickers on the Lipstick base were discontinued. This was at approximately the same time that the older plates with the code as part of the serial were being replaced and the codes themselves were being phased out.
|Louisiana 2003 passenger issue. Starting in 1999 (with two-year registrations expiring in 2001), Louisiana discontinued putting the month of expiration on the plate stickers. Stickers list only the year of expiration for 2001 and beyond. This is a cost-cutting measure, as it requires the printing of only one sticker type, as opposed to one for each month. It's also possible that this was a measure to allow police greater latitude in stopping suspect vehicles. Since the expiration month is not able to be determined by looking at the plate, presenting the vehicle registration is the only way of proving valid registration.
|Louisiana 2003 passenger issue. A new general issue plate was introduced in Louisiana in January, 2002, commemorating the Bicentennial of the Louisiana Purchase. The Louisiana Purchase, of course, was the 1803 transaction in which the United States purchased the area that is now the state of Louisiana, plus the majority of the central and northern plains states up to the Canadian border (approximately 1/3 of the current land area of the continental United States) from the French. The plates feature a compass logo in the center with a map of the U.S. with the area of the Purchase highlighted. This series started with the KLL series of plates. Most plates are seen with 2004 expirations, however plates with earlier expirations exist in the case that a car was purchased in late 2001 and registered after January 1, or an existing lipstick plate was exchanged for the new issue. These plates were issued through early 2004.
|Louisiana 2003 passenger issue. Another example of the Louisiana Purchase issue, this plate features an updated version of the validation sticker. Starting in mid-2001, the state began a transition to a new system which allows stickers to be custom-printed along with the registration certificate at the time that the plate is issued. The plate number itself is printed at the bottom of the sticker rather than a separate sticker serial, reducing the possibility of fraudulent use. The month of expiration was returned to the sticker with this system as well. Not all issuing locations switched to these stickers at the same time, therefore two different versions of the "03" sticker exist.
|Louisiana 2006 passenger issue. Starting in mid-2004, Louisiana discontinued the Louisiana Purchase plate and returned to the previous "Lipstick" base plate for new registrants. This gave the state the opportunity to use up the previous block of plates from between the mid- to late-KEx series and the KLK series, which had gone unissued when the Purchase plates were introduced. The return to this plate was short-lived, however, as a new general issue was released in February 2005.
|Louisiana 2006 passenger issue. In addition to the leftover KEx-KLL series Lipstick plates, new plates of this style were also made from serial blocks in the M and N series, beyond where the Louisiana Purchase issue left off. These plates were issued from somewhere near the end of the MSx series through the NFU series, with the next base starting after that point.
|Louisiana 2007 passenger issue. Beginning in February, 2005, the state began issuing this new graphic plate to new registrants. The plate features the image of a pelican in the center of the plate with the background fading from white to yellow then pink, suggesting a sunrise motif. This issue continues the serial format used on the older, still-valid lipstick and Purchase plates, supposedly starting with the NFV series.
|Louisiana 2008 passenger issue. Continuation of the pelican plate, there were slight design changes to the plate not long after its introduction. This plate features a smaller state name than the NFX series plate above, most easily seen by comparing the width of the state name relative to the top bolt holes. Also, on the earliest issues, a blank spot appears in the bird's head, likely representing feathers of a similar color as the background of the plate. This new revision adds a thin line to represent the top of the head. Finally, the ribbon-shaped 3M hologram was moved from the center of the plate in early issues to the right (between the '2' and '0' on this plate.)
|Louisiana 2013 passenger issue. Louisiana introduced a new issue in January, 2011, commemorating the state's bicentennial (of statehood in this case, not to be confused with the earlier Louisiana Purchase bicentennial plate.) The new plate features a pelican within the state's shape to the left of the serial with tall blades of grass in the background. As with other recent issues, this plate is only issued to new registrants or to existing registrants upon request, other older bases remain valid as well. This plate first appeared in the VCT series.
|Louisiana 2013 passenger issue. Continuation of the bicentennial issue, there were apparently legibility concerns with the original design of this plate, specifically the graphic interfering with the first character of the serial. To remedy this, the pelican and state shape graphic was made significantly smaller, eliminating the overlap with the serial. This change appeared in the mid to late VQx series.
|Louisiana 2015 passenger issue. In January, 2013, Louisiana discontinued the bicentennial issue and reverted to issuing the previous pelican graphic introduced in 2005. Serials on the pelican plate picked up where the bicentennial issues left off, in the mid WUx series. This turned out to be a limited run as well, as a new commemorative issue was introduced a year later.
|Louisiana 2016 passenger issue. In January, 2014, Louisiana introduced another commemorative limited-run general issue plate, this time celebrating the 2015 bicentennial of the Battle of New Orleans. This plate contains the logo of the bicentennial celebration and the state tourism website on an otherwise simple white background, and is slated to be issued through the end of 2015. The issue was introduced in the mid-XSx series of serials, although, as with other recent Louisiana base changes, there is no solid breakpoint and some overlap occurred with previous pelican plates.
|Louisiana 2016 passenger issue. As part of their continuing effort to confound the completist collector, Louisiana tweaked this issue in early 2014, near the end of the YEx series. The massive change consisted of capitalizing the 'L' and 'T' in the tourism URL, which I'd imagine they'd claim is for readability purposes but I'm sure was mostly to annoy me.
|Louisiana 2018 passenger issue. The Battle of New Orleans base was discontinued in 2016, at which time the previous pelican base was re-introduced for a third go-around. This change occurred in the late Z series, not leaving a lot of the alphabet to work with. The solution was to flip to a reversed 123-ABC format going forward.
|Louisiana 2018 passenger issue. As stated, the series reached ZZZ-999 shortly after the resumption of the pelican base in 2016. The series flipped to a reversed 123-ABC series thereafter, with the plate otherwise unchanged.
Additional Louisiana information provided by: Lowell McManus, Francis Lapeyre, Andrew Turnbull
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Last Modified 11/26/2016 (added second 2018 plate).