HomePassenger Car GalleryNon-Passenger GalleryUpdatesLinksMore
Illustrated History of Connecticut License Plates
Joe Wasielewski - ALPCA Member 6996
All-Terrain
Ambulance
Amateur Radio
Apportioned
Boat Ramp
Bus
Camp Trailer to 1957
Camp Trailer 1958-
Camper
Classic Vehicle
Combination 1
Combination 2
Commercial to 1957
Commercial 1958-
Common
Construction
Dealer Motorcycle
Dealer New to 1969
Dealer New 1970-1989
Dealer New 1990-
Dealer Spec. Equip.
Dealer Used to 1969
Dealer Used 1970-1989
Dealer Used 1990-
Dismantler
Early American
Error Plates
Exp. Test
Factory
Farm
Fire Apparatus
Fish
Foreign Consul
Gasoline
Handicapped
Hearse
High Mileage Veh.
Interstate
Junk
Livery
Marine Trailer
M.F.G.
Military
Miscellaneous/Local
Motorcycle
Municipal
M.V. Dept
Parade
Permits
Political - State
Political - US
POW
Prototype
PUC
Repair to 1969
Repair 1970-
Sample
School Bus
Service Bus
Snowmobile
Special Equipment
Sphinx
State
Student Transport
Taxi
Temp. Metal Plates
Temp. Non-Passenger
Temp. Pass.
Temp. Reg. Certificate
Toll
Trailer
Trans.
Vanpool
Veteran
Volunteer Firefighter
Wrecker
Commercial to 1957
Click to see this type in useThese plates are issued to commercial trucks or vehicles used for business purposes.

While commercial truck plates were among the first types issued by most states, in Connecticut this classification did not start until 1914. By this time, Manufacturer, Dealer, Motorcycle and Livery types were already in use. Colors were the reverse of regular passenger plates. This scheme was used for 1915 and 1916 as well. For 1917 through 1921, the plates had a 'C' prefix, still with reversed colors. In 1922, the 'C' was dropped ('C' was now used on Combination plates, which were the same colors as passenger plates). In 1932, the "COMMERCIAL" legend was added, and plates were the same colors as passenger. In the following few years, some years the colors were the same as passenger, some years they were reversed.

The silver on black 1942 base was revalidated for several years with a single-digit corner tab. In 1946, a new plate with black lettering on reflectorized yellow scotchlite was introduced. The base plate was a heavy stainless steel. The 1946 tabs were made of brass, and used "stencil" numbers cut out of the tab, similar to passenger tabs. However, the prongs were reversed from the passenger tabs, so passenger tabs could not be used on non-passenger plates (well, they could, but they would be upside-down!). In 1948 a change was made to more durable white/grey scotchlite, and in 1950 the stainless steel base was left bare and shiny, still with black letters/numbers.

In 1951, a new base was issued with black letters/numbers on a silver painted background. Corner tabs were again used through 1955. Later issues of this style plate dropped the '51' from '1951', leaving '19  ' with room for the 2-digit tab to sit flush against the plate and complete the date. In 1956 the colors were reversed to silver on black. Late in this timeframe, white lettering was used on the black background. Passenger tabs were used to revalidate the plates for 1956 and 1957.

 1914 1916 
1914
First year for this type
1916
This plate was on a Stoddard-Dayton
   
1921  
1921
The 'C' prefix and reversed colors indicate that this is a commercial plate. Combination plates of this era also had a 'C' prefix, but were the same colors as passenger plates
 
   
 1921  1922
Another 1921
What to do after reaching C9999? Just make the plate a little longer and add another digit. Throw in a dash for good measure. This plate is 17-3/4" long - nearly a foot and a half!
1922
The 'C' was dropped, and commercial plates were distinguished from passenger plates by the reversed colors through 1931
   
1923 1925
1923
This plate was completely rust-stained when I got it, but it cleaned up very nicely.
1925
   
 1926 1927 
1926 1927
   
 1928  1929
1928 1929
   
 1930  1931
1930 1931
   
 1932  1933
1932
In 1932, the 'Commercial' caption was added to these plates
1933
This plate was likely used on a cement truck- has a nice coating on the front!
   
 1934 1936
1934 1936
   
1937 1939
1937 1939
   
 1940 1941
1940 1941
   
 1950  1940s
1946/47 issue used until 1950.
The yellow scotchlite on these plates didn't hold up too well.
Late 1940s
This scotchlite on this one held up very well, but only because the plate was never used!
   
 1949  1950
1949, with more durable white scotchlite background.
After 99-999 a letter prefix was used.
1950
   
 1950  1950
1950, bare stainless base. I'm not sure why there is an A-series plate with 3 numbers on the bare stainless base, since it would have been issued after the 4-digit A series on the scotchlite base. 1950 issue with bare stainless steel background.
Most of the plates pictured on this site were scanned in, but the background on this plate is so shiny that the scanner couldn't handle it!
   
 1952  1954
1952
From 1951 to 1955, corner tabs were
used to indicate the year. Some issues had '1951' stamped in the corner, while later ones only had  '19    ', with the tab indicating the year.
1954
This plate is an example of one with the '19    ' date
   
 1955  1956
1955 1956
   
 1957 1957
1957  Late 1957 issue, with white numbers/letters instead of silver.
   
HomePassenger Car GalleryNon-Passenger GalleryUpdatesLinksMore