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Illustrated History of Connecticut License Plates
Joe Wasielewski - ALPCA Member 6996
Amateur Radio
Boat Ramp
Camp Trailer to 1957
Camp Trailer 1958-
Classic Vehicle
Combination 1
Combination 2
Commercial to 1957
Commercial 1958-
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-
Early American
Error Plates
Exp. Test
Fire Apparatus
Foreign Consul
High Mileage Veh.
Marine Trailer
M.V. Dept
Political - State
Political - US
Repair to 1969
Repair 1970-
School Bus
Service Bus
Special Equipment
Student Transport
Temp. Metal Plates
Temp. Non-Passenger
Temp. Pass.
Temp. Reg. Certificate
Volunteer Firefighter
Combination 2
These plates are issued to  to pickup trucks as well as all types of vehicles used for both business and private purposes with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating up to 12,500 lbs. Up until October 1, 2005, the weight limit was 10,000 lbs.

In 2004, P.A. 04-199 changed the requirements for issuance of combination plates to pickup trucks. Starting June 3, 2004, non-commercial pickup trucks with a GVWR under 8500 lbs could now display regular passenger plates. Before this, ALL pickup trucks had to be registered with Combination plates.

In 1957, standard-size 6x12 plates were introduced for Combination plates. Until 1966, white on blue plates were issued for Combination, and these were distinguished from regular passenger plates by the serial having the first letter as 'C'. In 1967, the colors were reversed to blue on white.  New registrations continued on in the CA-1234 format.

Around 1969, the new smaller die set came into use, around the CC- series. In the mid-1970s, several changes were made. About halfway through the CO- series, the state name became centered between the lower bolt holes (no longer left justified). A smaller die set was used for the state name as well. This didn't last too long, and with the CP- series, the 'Combination' legend was added between the upper bolt holes. This made the slogan-less CO- series tough to find.

Around 1980, CZ-9999 was finally reached. For a brief time following this, it appears that older, unused numbers from the series were recycled. For example, a CN-series could have been re-issued. Finally, a brand new series was started and the numbering ran from C-10000 to C-99999.

This format only lasted about 2 years. Next came all numeric 5-digit plates - 10000 to 99999. This lasted about 3 years until 99999 was reached in 1985.

The 100-'C'AA series came next. In 1987 the map base was introduced. For a brief time just before the map plates were issued, numbers were issued in the old format of CA-1234 and CB-1234. These plates can be identified by the fact that they have reflectorized (glass-beaded) numbers, unlike the previous re-issue of this format around 1980. Numbering continued on with little fanfare until 1996 when 999-CZZ was reached. The 1'C'-0000 format was started. Breaking with tradition, lead zeroes were used after the dot separator, beginning at -0001 instead of -1000.

Eventually, 9C-9999 was reached. The 'C' was then bumped over one position, and the 10'C'-001 format was begun. These ran until the new reflective base came out in 2000. I'm not sure they actually reached the end of the series at 99C-999. Plates up to 93C- have been verified, but not much higher.

In late December of 1999, the reflective light blue base was introduced. The initial numbering format was 12345-C. The 'Combination' legend was dropped from the plates, replaced by a stacked 'COMB' to the right of the serial.

99999-C was reached before long, and 1CA-123 through 9CZ-999, reached in 2004. The letters were then bumped to the right, and 12'C'-A34 became the new format. In August, 2009 that format was exhausted, and the new series began at 1234-'C'A.

In mid-2014 9999-CZ was reached. It appears the DMV finally gave up on trying to fit the letter "C" in some form in the serial, because a new series was started at 1000-DA. These appear to have been issued until the -DF series.

This didn't last long, however- in August, 2015 the numbering went to 7 digits, and the letter "C" made a return in a C-123456 format; presumably beginning at number C-000000. (no, that's not a sample plate). These have the stacked "C/O/-/M/B" between the letter and numbers.

Various sub-classifications of plates are issued in Combination - Amateur Radio, Handicapped, Preserve the Sound and New York Press to name a few.

Click the photo above to see this type in use.

See Also: Prototype

 1963 1969 
1963 1969
Colors were reversed in 1966.
Mid-50's number carried over to a '67 base revalidated to '79. This number was initially issued on the black on bright aluminum base around 1956. The earliest plates in the CA- series had the letters squashed together with no space, and a dot crammed in the middle. I have seen those through at least the early CA-4000s. Revalidated to 1981.
 1972 1973 
1972 1973
 1976 1977 
While passenger cars received Polyvend plates for the mid-'70s, combination plates remained like this.
 1977  1978
About halfway through the CO- series, the layout was changed to this odd-looking style.
1981 1979
The "Combination" legend was added with the CP-series. 1979
 1980  1980
The CN-series was initially issued on the plain, sloganless base in the mid 1970s - see CN-9435 above.  This number was reused.
1981 1981 
After CZ-9999 was reached around 1980, they went from C-10000 to C-99999. The numbers on this plate aren't reflectorized.
Another 1981. The numbers on this plate ARE reflectorized.  
 1982 1983 
 1982 1983
The C-10000 series only lasted about 2 years.
 1983  1984
Next came 5-digit all-numeric plates. These lasted about 3 years before 99999 was reached around 1985.
1985 1985
1985 1985
Next came the 100-'C'AA series.
 1988 1989 
1988 1989
Sometime just before the map base came out, a whole bunch of old-format plates were issued. Most of these appear to be in the CA- series, but there are a few in the CB- series.
 1989 1991 
The map base was introduced in 1987.
 1993  1994
Real nice plate, too bad someone put the decal in the wrong place.
 1995  1995 LIS
1995 1995 Preserve the Sound.
1996 1997
1996 1997
Near the end of the numbering format
 1997  1998
  1997 with temporary decal.
This plate would have been issued in late 1997 with this temporary decal. Upon expiration of the temporary decal, the plate would get a normal 2-year July 1999 decal.
After reaching 999-CZZ in 1996, the 1'C'-0001 series was introduced.
If you're wondering why this plate has a lower number than the 1997 shown above yet has a later decal, it is because this plate received its 2-year decal upon issuance - so this plate was issued sometime in 1996 with the '98 decal. The plate to the left was issued in '97 with a '97 temp decal.
 1998 LIS 2000
1998 Preserve the Sound.
These plates now have the 'COMB' legend embossed on the plate, so they use the same blanks as passenger car plates.
2000   Decal   
Another 2000, with an uncommon decal variation Two types of decals used for July 2000. The odd-shaped one with no serial number is the less common one.
 2000 hp  2001
2000 Handicapped Combination.
These were issued with -R suffixes, then -S, now -T
After 9C-9999 was reached, the 'C' was bumped over a space, and the 10'C'-001 format started.
 2002  Repl
4-digit all-numeric Combination plates were issued in the early 1930s. This isn't a carry-over, but rather a vanity made to match a low-number passenger plate. ca. 1986 plate used until the general reissue in 2000/2001. Like most other types, after renewing registration in 2000 or 2001, the motorist received a white on red 'Replacement Sticker' to place on the old plates for use while the new plates were being made with the same number.
 Vanity Repl.  
Combination vanity, again with the replacement sticker.  
 2002 2003
This graphic base was introduced in late December, 1999 with a 12345-'C' numbering format.
 2003 Remake  2004
Remake of an early/mid 1980s number.
2004, another number remake.
 2004 LIS 2005
2004 Preserve the Sound
At some point, the COMB legend was embossed in the center, rather than screened to the left.
After 99999-C came 1'C'A-001 through 9CZ-999
2008 Undated
2008. Last year for stickered plates.
In 2004 the numbering became 12'C'-A34.
Like most other types, starting in 2006 windshield stickers were used to validate these plates.
Also, this particular plate was made after Connecticut stopped using 3M reflective sheeting for the background and started using Avery.
99C-Z99 was reached in mid-2008.
2010  2011
ca. 2010
Note the sharp cutoff between the blue and white on the late Avery plates.
ca. 2011
Near the end of the series.
After 9999-CZ was reached, they went to the -DA series.
ca. 2015
The 'D' series was only used until around DF-. A 7-digit format was then introduced and the 'C' was returned beginning with plate C-000000.
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