Sample plates are typically made to show what the currently issued license plates look like, or as a prototype to evaluate a new design or numbering format. In Connecticut, these were produced at least as far back as the early 1930s. The early plates used zeroes for the serial number; in the 1970s SAM-PLE became the norm.

These plates have been used for displays at the DMV offices, photographed and sent to law enforcement to familiarize them with the latest plates, and for sale to collectors as well. Connecticut still makes sample plates available to collectors, though the price is now way up at $25/plate.




ca. 1974/1975 Polyvend sample. There are a very few of these around with a 000-000 serial as well.

ca. 1977

1980s- dot was removed.




The dot is back.

ca. 2000s

ca. 2000s, with a dot.

CCSU sample. There are a few of each of the various special-issue types with a 000000 serial like this, but most have the SAM-PLE format.

Health Professionals sample. I’m not sure this type was ever even issued.

Knights of Columbus sample

Preserve the Sound sample

Preserve the Sound Camper sample.

Preserve the Sound Combination sample. Very similar to the Camper sample pictured previously.
I believe the actual numbering format started at 100-LZ and worked backwards through various letter series.

Preserve the Sound Commercial sample.
The actual numbering format started at 100-LC.

Preserve the Sound Handicapped sample.

1995 Special Olympics sample

Special Olympics sample in the typical organizational plate numbering format.
Also note the different logo versus the previous plate.

ca. 2000 Combination sample, complete with misspelling. There were a batch of these that made it out early on.
(MJB Collection)


ca. 1980s Commercial Sample

ca. Late 1980s/early 1990s Commercial Sample

ca. Late 1960s Interstate Sample

1963 MFG. Sample

ca. late 1970s/early 1980s Motorcycle. Not too common of a type for sample plates in Connecticut.

1986 Motorcycle

ca. Late 1980s Handicapped Motorcycle Sample/Prototype

ca. Late 1980s Handicapped Motorcycle Sample/Prototype

1968 P.U.C. sample. Another uncommon type for a sample.

1967 Temporary Repair sample.
A rather obscure type for a sample plate.

ca. 2000s School Bus Sample

1971 Commercial Transporter Sample

ca. Late 1980s/early 1990s Trailer sample

ca. Early 1980s Van Pool sample