Error Plates

Although Connecticut has generally been very good at keeping slip-ups from escaping, sometimes there are test plates and errors which make it out.

While I don’t have examples of many of the common errors, here is a sampling of some goofs.

ca. 1957 issue.
The ‘M’ is an upside-down ‘W’.

“Heavy Dot” error- the dot sank to the bottom.
A number of plates in this series had the dot in this position.

1980 ‘No Dot’ error.
This wasn’t a common error at this time (it would be later on, as can be seen below).


Uncommon error on a remade number ca. 1978 or 1979.
The number was not centered on the plate.

1980s inverted-letter vanity. I guess they used both of their ‘M’s in the first half of the plate, because they used inverted ‘W’s for the second half. A similar error can be found on the map base plates in the ‘-JWW’ series – the second ‘W’ is actually an upside-down ‘M’ (see below).

1987 “No Dot” error.
The EBL, EBM, EBN and EBO series (possibly more) were missing the dot.

An -EBM series no-dot plate.

An -EBN series no-dot plate.


It wasn’t long before the dot disappeared again in the FOG series.

It was missing for the FOH series as well.

It still hadn’t shown up for the FOL series…

…nor for the FON…

… or even the FOO.

Originally I had thought the dot reappeared after the -FOV series…

… but apparently not. Thankfully it reappeared after the -FOW series, otherwise who knows how many of these no-dot plates I would have picked up along the way. Interestingly, plates in the -FOR series are known with the dot.

Although you can’t tell from the picture here, this is an error plate – it’s not reflectorized. It’s not that the glass beads on the numbers washed off, they were never applied.

A more common error, the letter ‘H’ is upside-down.

For the entire -JWW series, the second ‘W’ is actually an inverted ‘M’.

1988 plate with “half-invert” decal.
There are a few of these decals out there.

1988 “half-invert” decal.
There are a few of these decals out there.

1989 7-digit vanity?!?
7-digit plates were only recently approved in Connecticut (on the light blue base).
(MJB Collection)

ca. 1990s error. This can’t be a vanity, because you can’t go back-and-forth with letters and numbers. Perhaps this was supposed to be a remake of “929-BKZ“?

~mid 1990s passenger invert.
This invert is different from most in that each individual letter was inserted upside-down, as opposed to the usual entire number being inverted and backwards. I.e., this plate number was 821-JWZ, whereas if this were a typical invert the number would be ZWJ-128.
This plate was donated by the Connecticut DMV to the ALPCA convention auction a few years back.


ca. 1990s error. It appears that most, if not all, of this series was stamped with the letters and numbers backwards then caught before they were painted.

A motorcycle plate in the same style. I’m not sure what the issue was with this plate; it looks like it would be a re-made number from the early 1970s made during the early 1980s.

1973 Junk error – the caption should be “Junk” instead of “Dealer”.


2004 Motorcycle with inverted ‘8’.


A short illustration of how plates are made: The reflective sheeting is applied to the aluminum plate and the holes and rounded corners are punched.

Next the numbers/letters and border are embossed into the plate.

Then the raised areas are painted. In this case, the wrong color: Red letters are for Commercial/Trailer/Farm etc. plates, not passenger like this one.

Paintless Commercial plate.

2002 New Car Dealer error.
The ‘8’ is upside-down.

2003 New Car Dealer error.
XQ- and XZ- are not used in the New Dealer series.


2007 Special Equipment Dealer error – the legend should be “Dealer” instead of “Repair”.

1976 Parkway Toll plate with an inverted “W” for the “M”. Seems to be a common error.