Can You Guess the State From Its License Plate?

By: Craig
Image: Wiki Commons by Awmcphee

About This Quiz

There was a time when license plates were a series of numbers and letters on a white or colored metal plate. Identification was the key. But, now, license plates come in all sorts of colors, designs and often do much more than just identify a state and vehicle. From antique vehicles to plates that identify a vehicle for commercial and personal use, license plates can designate if a person served in a war or received a medal. They can identify a college you attend or if you support the park system. But, more important, license plates define the state where the vehicle is registered. For example, if you saw a license plate with the monument of Mount Rushmore, where do you think it is from? Or, what if you see the motto, "The Last Frontier?" Where the heck is that? 

You may have traveled throughout the country, but have you seen a golden sunset on a purple-shadowed saguaro cactus? It's a good bet the state is in the Southwest, but which state is it? Texas, New Mexico, Arizona? Maybe Utah or Nevada? These license plates will celebrate monuments, trade, jurisdiction, famous citizens and agriculture. But, one thing you won't find is the name of the state which is conveniently blotted out for you for quiz fun. 

Take this quiz to see if you really are the road-tripper you think you are!

Alaskan plates have a number of formats, including a yellow plate with blue writing as well as a picture plate with mountains as a backdrop. Most plates have the slogan, 'The Last Frontier,' on them.

The license plate for California is certainly a classic. It features a white background with dark blue writing and California written in a script font at the top. The plate is embossed and reflective. California is known as the Golden State.

Home to close to 20 million people, New York is the fourth most populated state in America. Cars here feature a license plate with the Statue of Liberty on them. New York was admitted to the Union on July 26, 1788.

The standard issue Rhode Island license plate includes a graphic of a wave with the slogan 'Ocean State.' Rhode Island was the 13th state of the Union and joined on May 29, 1790.

The Sunshine State, Florida, is home to Miami, one of the most vibrant cities in the world. Don't forget Disney Land, which is nestled near the other big city in the state, Orlando. There is also Cape Canaveral, home to NASA.

It's not too difficult to guess what the Texas slogan is on its license plates. Of course, it is 'The Lone Star State.' Plates also include a 5-pointed star in the upper corner. Texas was admitted to the union on December 29, 1845. It is also the second-most populous state in America.

The Corn State, Iowa license plates have a range of options from which to choose, most depicting farming scenes.

Home of the Grand Canyon, Arizona is the sixth-largest state in America. It joined the Union on February 14, 1912. Of course, Arizona license plates have a picture of the Grand Canyon on them.

Known as The 'Aloha State,' Hawaii has a plain state plate with black writing on a white background. There is a beautiful rainbow graphic at the top of the plate. Hawaii was the 50th state admitted to the Union. This happened on August 21, 1959.

Louisiana is The Pelican State, so it's only natural that the state plates would have this large bird emblazoned on it. Some will also include the motto, 'Sportsman's Paradise'.

A mountain scene is depicted on state plates from Idaho. There also might be some reference to potatoes since in Idaho, they are certainly important. However, Idaho is known as the Gem State. It was the 43rd state to join the Union and did so on July 3, 1890.

Alabama license plates have a number of slogans on them, including 'Heart of Dixie.' Most are picture plates featuring a forest and lake graphic.

Indiana plates have a number of formats, including a rural scene with a covered bridge. Writing on the plate is in dark blue letters. License plate slogans on Indiana plates include 'Amber waves of grain' and 'The Heritage State.'

Standard issue Michigan plates are white with blue writing while the picture plate shows the outline of the Great Lakes as well as a bridge.License plate slogans on Michigan plates include 'The Great Lakes State' and 'Winter Wonderland.'

The standard issue Nebraska plates include a western meadowlark bird and a goldenrod flower. Nebraska is known as the Cornhusker State.

The standard issue Oregon plates have a picture of a fir tree and mountains. These are on a white background with dark blue writing. License plate slogans on Oregon plates include 'Pacific Wonderland.'

Vermont, or as its license plate slogan, 'The Green Mountains State,' reminds us has an all-green plate with white writing. It also features a small tree in the top left-hand corner.

The tenth-largest state in America, Wyoming was admitted to the Union on July 10, 1890. Just over 500,000 people live there.

Ohio license plates have various slogans but perhaps the one that fits best is 'The Birthplace of Aviation.' Ohio is the seventh most populous state in America and joined the Union on March 1, 1803.

Home of Mount Rushmore, it makes sense this mountain would feature on the state license plates of South Dakota. Many also feature the slogan, 'Great Faces, Great Places.'

Named after George Washington, the state of Washington joined the Union on November 11, 1889. Known as the 'Evergreen State,' Washington license plates feature a picture of Mount Rainer.

It's obvious that Georgia, The Peach State," would have peach trees on its license plates. Georgia is the eighth most densely populated state in America and joined the Union on January 2, 1788.

Standard issue plates in North Dakota include the slogan 'Legendary.' The graphic on state plates include a prairie scene as well as a bison.

Missouri plates are fairly traditional-looking and feature an outline of the state as well as a bluebird. Some may also include the 'Show Me State' slogan.

The eighth state to join the Union on May 23, 1788, South Carolina, the Palmetto State's license plates feature black writing on a multi-colored background. They can be chosen with the slogan 'In God We Trust.'

Wisconsin has a fairly plain license plate with black writing on a white background. It features a small farmhouse and lake graphic in the upper right-hand corner.

It seems that the authorities of Maryland are the only ones using slogans on license plates for safety reasons. Here, state license plates carry the slogan 'Drive Carefully.' They also carry the state flag in some cases.

Montana is known as 'Big Sky Country' and that slogan, or variations thereof, appear on many of the plates seen in the state. There are a large variety of state plates from which to choose, some with mountain scenes and others fairly plain. Montana joined the Union on November 8, 1889.

With its many bodies of water, the license disk slogan for Minnesota is '10,000 Lakes.' Naturally, the graphic on the plate is a lake scene.

Maine license plates include the slogan 'Vacation Land' as well as graphics of a chickadee and a pine tassel.

New Hampshire plates are adorned with what is known as the 'Old Man of the Mountain' graphic as well as the slogan, 'Live Free, or Die.' New Hampshire is known as 'The Granite State.'

West Virginia plates have the slogan 'Wild, Wonderful' on them. Other than that, they are fairly standard with a white background and blue writing. Known as the 'Mountain State,' West Virginia joined the Union on June 20, 1863.

Nevada was the 36th state to join the Union. It did so on October 31, 1864. Nevada state plates feature a sunset graphic as well as the slogan, 'The Silver State.'

Arkansas state plates include the slogan 'The Diamond State' as well as a graphic of a diamond on a pale blue background. Arkansas joined the Union on June 15, 1836.

Kentucky state plates include the slogan 'In God We Trust.' Other popular slogans include 'The Bluegrass State' and 'Unbridled Spirit.'

Officially known as 'The Sunflower State,' Kansas was the 34th state of the Union. It joined on January 29, 1861.

Known as 'The Magnolia State,' Mississippi became the 20th State of the Union on December 10, 1817. State plates include the graphic of a bluebird, the state outline and the slogan, 'Birthplace of American Music.'

New Mexico was the 47th state to enter the Union. It did so on January 6, 1912. The state slogan, 'Land of Enchantment,' appears on state license plates as well the symbol from the state flag.

Known as the 'Keystone' or 'Quaker' State, Pennsylvania was the second state to join the Union. It did so on December 12, 1787. Its largest city is Philadelphia. The state is home to the Amish, known for shunning the modern world.

Standard Tennessee state plates generally feature a mountain scene but can differ. Tennessee was the 16th state to join the Union and did so on June 1, 1796. The 16th most-populous state in America, Tennessee is known as the 'Volunteer State.'

Colorado state plates include a graphic of the Rocky Mountains, sometimes with the slogan 'Colorful' underneath. 'The Centennial State,' Colorado became a member of the Union on August 1, 1876, the 38th state to do so.

Illinois state plates not only have the slogan, 'Land of Lincoln,' but a picture of the former American president as well. 'The Prairie State' is the fifth most populous in the United States and became a member of the Union on December 3, 1818.

North Carolina, declared the 12th state of the Union on November 21, 1789, has the slogan, 'First in Flight,' on its state license plates as well as a graphic of the Wright Flyer.

Utah has a number of colorful plate options, some with a skier graphic and some with the Delicate Arch. A range of slogan's are also available, including 'In God We Trust,' 'Life Elevated' and 'The Greatest Snow on Earth.'

The standard state license plate from Oklahoma has a number of graphics on it, including the state shape, a scissor-tailed flycatcher and mountains as well as the slogan, 'TRAVELOK.COM.' Oklahoma was the 46th state in the Union and joined on November 16, 1907.

Massachusetts state plates have the slogan 'Spirit of America' but very little else. These plates are plain with a white background and red writing. Massachusetts, the 'Bay State,' joined the union on February 6, 1788.

Nicknamed the 'Garden State,' New Jersey has this slogan on its license plates. The plates themselves are plain and feature dark lettering on a yellow, fading into white background.

Known as 'The Constitution State,' Connecticut used the official state nickname for the slogan on its state license plates. Other than that, the plates are very simple with dark blue letters on a light blue background fading into white

One of the smallest U.S. states, Delaware joined the Union on December 7, 1787, and is recognized as the first state to do so. This is something residents are proud of as reflected in their slogan on license plates, 'The First State.'

The 42nd state to join the Union, Washington is the home of Mount Rainier, one of the most famous mountains in America. It appears on license plates along with the slogan, 'The Evergreen State.'

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