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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
Wrecker
Click to see this type in useThese plates are used on tow trucks. A shop must first have Dealer or Repair plates in order to obtain Wrecker plates. Non-dealer or repair tow trucks were able to use regular Commercial plates until the law was changed in 2010. Every wrecker must now have wrecker plates, and in order to obtain wrecker plates the business must first have dealer or repair plates.

This type appears to have started in 1954. The same colors and format were used through 1957. Starting in 1958 or 1959, white on blue plates were used and beginning in 1961 Wrecker plates followed the same annually-reversing color scheme as Dealer and Repair plates.  Thus, 1961, 63, 65, etc. were blue on white, and 1962, 64, 66, etc. were white on blue.

Starting I believe in 1967, decals were used to validate blue on white plates. This color scheme lasted until the early 2000s. At this time, Wrecker plates were re-issued in black on orange, still validated with decals. Along with Dealer and Repair plates, Wrecker is one of the few types to have fully-embossed captions and numbers. In my opinion, this is what made it one of the more "readable" types on the roads- no squinting to see a small legend screened on the bottom of a generic light blue plate.

As of Early 2016, wrecker plates are now in the universal AB-12345 format, which makes them much less readable.

In 1999, a new type was introduced - "Wrecker Vehicle In Tow". See below for a description of this type.


 1954 1962 
1954
This may have been the first year for this type.
1962
   
 1964 1965 
1964 1965
   
 1974  1976
1974
These plates must have been made on leftover blanks, since it has tab slots - but Wrecker plates used stamped-dated annual issues well past the tab years.
1976 expiration.
Fitting number for the year.
   
 1979 1981 
1979 1981
This is an older plate than the one to the left, yet has a higher number. Wrecker plates were issued with a hodgepodge of numbers during this timeframe - old numbers (and even plates!) were re-issued.
   
 1987  1988
1987 1988
   
1993
ca. Late 1980s/early 1990s 1993
   
1997 1998
Old number on a 1980's base revalidated to 1997 1998
   
 2001 2004
2001 2004
   

Wrecker Vehicle In Tow

Click to see this type in useThese plates feature the same serial number as that of the wrecker. Because there are so many words on these plates (along with the Connecticut state name on the bottom) the dies for the numbers appear to be those formerly used on Motorcycle plates. These plates were not widely used at first, but are becoming more common.

This type was introduced in 1999. According to state law, every vehicle with wheels in contact with the roadway must have a registration plate. This proved problematic for wreckers towing vehicles which were not registered- a "Dealer" or "Repair" plate needed to be used for this purpose. As Dealer and Repair plates are expensive, the towing industry asked for some way to get around this. Thus, the "Vehicle In Tow" type was introduced for this situation. The change in the law in 2010, however, rendered this point somewhat moot as all owners of tow trucks registered as wreckers must now also have Dealer or Repair plates.

Wrecker Vehicle In Tow  vehicle in tow
ca. 2002/3  Another one, in better condition
   

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