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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


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

1941 License Plate


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

1942 License Plate


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

1943 License Plate


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.

1944 License Plate


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.

1945 License Plate


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

1946 License Plate


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

1947 License Plate


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

1948 License Plate


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.

1949 License Plate


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


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

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