Washington License Plates 1969-present

WA 69 #ASJ 076
Washington 1969 Passenger issue (1963 base). These "Wash. 63" baseplates were issued from 1963 through the end of 1964 and, although technically invalided in 1985, can still be seen on the road today. The letter sequences used on these plates were issued by county, with all "A" series plates belonging to King county.
WA 69 #MBL 345
Washington 1967/69 Passenger issue. This baseplate was first issued in 1965 and issued through the end of 1967. These plates could be used with stickers through the end of 1985 in Washington. Plates of this era were again issued in letter blocks according to county, with "MBL" falling into the allocation for Skagit county.
WA 69 #BEF 521
Washington 1969 Passenger issue. In 1968, this issue was introduced. These plates could be seen as valid as late as 2000, when the state finally cracked down on getting older plates off the road. Again, county coding was used, with all "B" plates falling into Pierce county.
WA 71 #KBT 265
Washington 1971 Passenger issue. Same series as the 1969 issue above, but using a notably darker shade of green. This darker shade seems to be the more common paint color on these plates. This plate was issued in Chelan county, one of the smaller jurisdictions in the state.
WA 76 #BYH 713
Washington 1976 Passenger issue. This plate is similar to the 1969 and 71 plates above, but with a slight variation to the state name die. These letters are slightly smaller and a bit more rounded than the previous set. This state name die is actually similar to the first one used on this baseplate in 1968. This is another Pierce county issue on this baseplate. The 1976 sticker features a picture of a Revolutionary War soldier between the "7" and the "6".
WA 77 #KNT 325
Washington 1977 Passenger issue. This plate features a notably different die for the state name once again, much more rounded than previous issues. I'm told that this plate is from a less common sub-type of this series, using an oddly-shaped "S" in the state name. These plates were seen from approximately 1977 through 1981. Staggered registration was started in Washington with 1977-78 expirations, so these plates are the first to feature month stickers. Later period plates on this base were issued outside of the original county blocks, as the coding system started falling apart. From this point on, the serial does not necessarily designate county of origin.
WA 79 #KYM 893
Washington 1979 Passenger issue. This is the more common appearance of this batch of plates, with a more rounded "S" in the state name.
WA 83 #EQG 852
Washington 1983 Passenger issue. After the die changes for the previous issue, these plates were released around 1981, returning to a similar look to the original 1968 plates. This state name die was once again a slight bit smaller than the one used previously, however.
WA 85 #HQF 122
Washington 1985 Passenger issue. Starting in 1983, Washington began using a new base with the state name screened at the top left rather than embossed. This variation would carry on until these plates were discontinued in 1987.
WA 86 #LQC-035
Washington 1986 Passenger issue. Near the end of the green-on-white era, plates were issued on the screened base using these narrower dies that would be used on the 1987 baseplate.
WA 89 #209-CDQ
Washington 1989 Passenger issue. This new graphic plate was first issued in 1987 and carried the slogan "Centennial Celebration, commemorating the Centennial of the state in 1989. The plate features a graphic of Mt. Rainier in the background. This plate is still in use today, with some variations. The format for these plates was reversed to 123-ABC, with no attempts at county coding made. This plate features the hard-to-read "89" sticker, containing the logo for the state's Centennial Celebration.
WA 91 #959-DIQ
Washington 1991 Passenger issue. Continuation of the above base, the slogan was removed in late 1990, at the start of the "DGQ" series. The baseplate remained otherwise unchanged, and this style of plate was issued continuously through 1998. Washington plates less than seven years old can still be revalidated with stickers
WA 99 #411-JOA
Washington 1999 Passenger issue. In 1998, Washington changed their baseplate again, making a few modifications to the Mt. Rainier base. The mountain graphic remains intact, but the outside border of the plate was removed, the state name was changed to block letters and moved to the left, the stickers were both placed at the top right, and the slogan "Evergreen State" was added at the bottom. This change took place at the "JOA" series of plates in mid-1998, making this the 411th plate issued on the new base.
WA 00 #553-JZQ
Washington 2000 Passenger issue. Continuation of the "Evergreen State" baseplate. Washington's 2000 validation stickers featured the slogan "The Future is Now," referencing the millennium celebration of 2000. I'm not sure what the ramifications are now that these "Future" plates are expired. The state has been issuing more new plates than usual on this base, as a switch to a seven-year rolling replacement cycle and a push to eliminate any leftover green-on-white plates from the road is on.
WA 03 #527-NQA
Washington 2003 Passenger issue. Newer "Evergreen State" plate. This plate seems to be made with Avery reflective sheeting, of the same type in use in Ohio, Wisconsin, New Jersey and a couple other places. The material was just discontinued in North Carolina and more recently in Ontario, presumably due to its poor durability. Hopefully Washington will have better luck with the stuff than the others have had.
WA 05 #195-SUQ
Washington 2005 Passenger issue. Well, I guess they didn't have such good luck with the Avery sheeting either, since the state reverted back to 3M stock at some point in 2004. Just like Ohio and New Jersey. Go figure.
WA 11 #AAA8103
Washington 2011 Passenger issue. Washinton reached the end of the ZZZ series in early 2010, exhausting the previous 123-ABC format. Despite rumors that the state would begin issuing an odd 1A23BCD format and/or switch to flat plates, a simple, embossed seven-digit ABC1234 format followed, starting in the AAA series. Aside from the extra digit, the plates remain unchanged.

Additional Washington information provided by: Andy DeCeunynck, Ken Stratton

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© Copyright 1998-2014 David Nicholson. All Rights Reserved.

Last Modified 10/8/2011 (replaced 1987 plate with 1986 plate, replaced 1992 plate with 1991 plate, added 2011 plate).