2021 Presidential Inaugural License Plates Unveiled

The design of the groundbreaking license plates was revealed a short time ago – rather, Three designs – ahead of next week’s inaugural show. however, the souvenir plates themselves should not be shipped to those who order them until February, and no plate numbers under 1000 will be available to the general public. The designs presented, which its maker notes are always subject to change by decisions of the inaugural committee, include a few possible slogan lines: “Build Back Better” and “America the Beautiful”.

It remains to be seen which designs will be worn by official vehicles on the day of the inauguration, and how many there will be in total, once the inauguration proper and the souvenir plates have been dispatched. At present the souvenir plate ordering site not show a but Three different preliminary designs, one of which is seen below and the other above.

The subject of inaugural license plates is a bit complex, and although it started out as a relatively simple thing decades ago for official Secret Service and Police vehicles, it has become increasingly complicated. with time. For example, four years ago they were hardly produced at all because the 2017 inaugural committee ordered them very late. And every four years, the rules, designs, and validity tend to differ a bit.

Yet another design is displayed on the ordering site.


The first special plaques of this type debuted for the presidential inauguration of 1933, but since then they have played different roles at different times. During the early years, these plaques were strictly official and numbered in ascending order, with just hundreds of plaques produced for each inauguration. The authorized periods of use also varied, from a few weeks to several months, depending on the year.

But over the past decades, they have become more of a keepsake when ordering and using, with the ability to order personalized words and numbers on the plates. The designs, the number issued, and the rules for their use varied a bit from administration to administration, with the inaugurations of Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan having seen more than tens of thousands of inaugural plaques released. In addition, most plates now tend to be commissioned by collectors and members of political parties and never applied to vehicles. Thus, a large number of inaugural plaques on the market today among collectors are effectively unused, like new plaques.

ALPCA Andrew Pang Collector’s Website has a beautiful chronological history of the inaugural license plates with designs for each year, as well as some notes on the number of plates issued during each inaugural year. It’s a complicated story, which became even more complex with the 2005 inauguration, after it was broken down into official plates for government vehicles and a series of memorabilia for individuals. And the plate designs also diverged a bit for the 2005 groundbreaking year – perhaps an effect of a post 9/11 where fears of infiltration of secure areas by fake official vehicles became a concern.

1981 Presidential Inaugural License Plate
The subject of inaugural license plates was simpler a decade ago.


Over the past decade and a half, inaugural plaques have actually been produced in a couple of different styles, some as keepsakes and others worn by Secret Service vehicles on parades. Indeed, the practice of several types of plates reflects the different needs for the actual security vehicles and for the production of memorabilia by the inaugural committee. Of course, the problem for collectors now is authenticity, so given that there are multiple styles of each four-year term, this creates its own headaches. Add to this the fact that more identical plaques with the President’s initials had been produced in previous terms for the new President to later give as gifts to donors, even though they had never been worn on one of the parade limousines.

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