Delaware License Plates, 1969-present

DE 69 #46909
Delaware 1969 passenger issue. Delaware hasn't had a general plate reissue since 1942, and very rarely modifies their baseplate, so there aren't a lot of variations. This base was used from 1963 through 1970, and has riveted numbers on a blue screened base. Plates of this era, as well as all plates issued since 1942, can still be used in Delaware with proper stickers.
DE 69 #47133
Delaware 1969 passenger issue. Some late exp. 1969 plates were made using blanks with a gold border, but with the numbers still riveted on. This style would continue in 1970 and beyond, but with the numbers screened onto the plate rather than riveted.
DE 71 #213604
Delaware 1971 passenger issue. This screened base with the gold border was first issued in 1970 and remains, with a few minor changes, the current issue today. Starting in 1970, the entire plate was screened flat, including the serial number. Delaware plates are issued in an all-numeric format and new plates are issued using inactive combinations from given blocks of numbers, so numbers are not necessarily issued in any kind of discernable order.
DE 87 #213763
Delaware 1987 passenger issue. Continuation of the series, this plate provides a good example of how the state would jump around re-issuing inactive combinations. Either that, or they only issued 159 plates between 1971 and 1987. This plate was from a batch issued in 1986 that has a slight manufacturing defect where a small border of bare metal can be seen around all four sides of the plate. The ALPCA archives mentions a different font used for the slogan during this timeframe as well, but I've never seen one to confirm it.
DE 88 #149459
Delaware 1988 passenger issue. This plate is a replacement issue for a lost, stolen or damaged plate. As a result, it has numbers that are riveted onto a blank base, similar to the pre-1970 production method.
DE 94 #240664
Delaware 1994 passenger issue. Another current issue plate. Starting in 1992, Delaware switched to a split-month system for registration renewals. Stickers for each month are now marked with an expiration day, either the 15th of the month, or the last day of the month. This plate, for example, expires on March 31, 1994.
DE 99 #77-140
Delaware 1999 passenger issue. This plate is an official reproduction of a 1942-base Delaware porcelain plate. Since the state has not had a general plate reissue since the 1942 issue, they also allow low-numbered registrations (below 87-000, I believe) to be re-manufactured on the 1942-style baseplate. This plate measures 5.5"x9.5" and carries a manufacturer's mark on the back reading "The Delaware Historic Plate Co. - Handcrafted Porcelain Enamel License Plates - 1997 Bear, Delaware." It's kind of neat to get a porcelain into a 1969-present collection, I must admit.
DE 04 #818048
Delaware 2004 passenger issue. Starting in 2002, production of Delaware plates shifted to Waldale, Ltd. in Nova Scotia. As a result of the switch, the appearance of the serial font on these plates changed noticeably, with the serial printed smaller and in a slightly different typeface than on previous issues. Motorists were not pleased with the change, and shortly thereafter the state contracted Waldale to produce a new, larger font which more closely resembled the older plate style. This plate is an example of the smaller font on the initial run of Waldale-made plates.
DE 05 #286378
Delaware 2005 passenger issue. This is the second variety of Waldale-made plate, using a larger typeface for the serial. The size of the characters is a closer match to the older plates, but they still don't look a whole lot like the old ones. Supposedly, the next contract that the state puts out to bid will require that the old font be matched, so there should be another Delaware change within the next couple years.
DE 08 #281703
Delaware 2008 passenger issue. Starting in late 2006, plates started appearing with this once-again-changed font, designed to much more closely resemble the old Demco serial font used prior to 2002. Despite some obvious differences between these and the older plates (notably spacing and character width), these plates seem to be better received than the previous two attempts. This plate also features the newest style of Delaware expiration sticker, featuring the month, day and year as well as the plate number to prevent fraudulent use.
DE 10 #281703
Delaware 2010 passenger issue. Having gone without a minor variation in a while, Delaware plates began appearing around 2008 with a beveled edge around the plate as opposed to the previous all-flat designs. This may or may not show up on a two-dimensional scan, but trust me. Plates remain otherwise unchanged from the previous Waldale issue, as the current font set seems to have been deemed "good enough."

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© Copyright 1998-2017 David Nicholson. All Rights Reserved.

Last Modified 8/17/2010 (added 2010 plate).