Indiana Antique License Plates 1940-1949

You may plate a vehicle that is at least 25 years old with an antique license plate (Year of Manufacture license plate) that was issued by the Indiana BMV in the model year of the vehicle.

1940 License Plate

1940

Background: Black
Letters: Silver
Number issued: 848,222

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1941 License Plate

1941

Background: Blue
Letters: White
Number issued: 929,115

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1942 License Plate

1942

Background: Yellow
Letters: Blue
Number issued: 898,464

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1943 License Plate

1943

Background: Black
Letters: White
Number issued: 847,362

Indiana issued license plates in pairs until May 22, 1943. Because of the metal shortage caused by World War II, Governor Henry Shricker asked Hoosiers to turn in their collections of old license plates, along with their front 1942 plates. This load of metal was sent to the Indiana State Prison to be reprocessed into the 1944 plates. Hoosiers completed 1943 with only the plate on the rear of their vehicle--which was a tab for 1943 bolted over the full 1942 plate.

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1944 License Plate

1944

Background: Black
Letters: White
Number issued: 803,433

Hoosiers again fixed a smaller tab for 1944 over the 1942 license plate, in a war-effort to save metal.

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1945 License Plate

1945

Background: Brown
Letters: White
Number issued: 830,858

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1946 License Plate

1946

Background: Black
Letters: Gold
Number issued: 898,741

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1947 License Plate

1947

Background: Yellow
Letters: Blue
Number issued: 961,227

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1948 License Plate

1948

Background: Royal Blue
Letters: White
Number issued: 1,011,898

Indiana recorded its first year of issuing over one million license plates in 1948. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated that Indiana's population in 1950 was 3,934,000.

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1949 License Plate

1949

Background: Red
Letters: White
Number issued: 1,098,675

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Some license plate images presented with the assistance of the Jacob A. Newkirk Historic License Plate Collection.