These plates are issued by new car dealers for temporary use until the permanent registration is processed.
These first appeared in late 1992. Until this time, car dealers kept a supply of license plates on hand, and issued them as people bought cars. These paper plates replaced that procedure.
All of these plates are yellow, number N189AU below is the best example. They quickly fade to a yellowish-white after sitting in the rear windshield of a car for a couple of weeks.
At some point, larger dealers were able to tie into a DMV database and issued these yellow plates with the number of the actual permanent plate which would follow. This was not very common, though.
Around 1999 or 2000, dealers once again started to have a stock of permanent plates on hand, issued as people bought vehicles. These plates are thus becoming much less common.
As somewhat of an odd practice, when the expiration decal for regular metal plates was moved from the plate itself to the front windshield in 2006; a paper “Temporary Sticker of Vehicle Registration” was issued to be displayed in the front windshield when these yellow plates were issued. With the permanent metal plates, there is no indication of expiration on the plate itself, hence the need for the windshield decal. However, these yellow plates have the expiration date written right on them – why the need to duplicate it in the front windshield too?
1992. The series started at N1000A. This is a fairly early example of this type.
After reaching N999Z, a double-letter suffix was used.
1996. Note the larger captions for the state name and other text.
In late 1999, these plates went back to the original series of N1234A. The N123AB series then repeated as well.
Temporary windshield sticker for the front windshield, issued with these plates starting in 2006.