Manitoba License Plates 1969-present

MB 69 #KG544
Manitoba 1969 Passenger issue. This baseplate was used in Manitoba from 1964 through the end of 1970 with metal date tabs at the bottom. Lasting until 1970, Manitoba was the last North American jurisdiction to use metal date tabs rather than stickers or annual plates. Passenger plates were issued in an AB-123 format. These plates feature a bison at the bottom left of the plate, a motif that would carry over to some subsequent issues. Rear plates from this issue had an embossed "64" date (covered by the tab in this case), while front plates did not.
MB 71 #AY58-95
Manitoba 1971 Passenger issue. In 1971, this new plate was issued. These plates were used in the province until the end of 1975. These plates again feature a bison, this time just the front portion at the left of the serial. These plates were issued in an AB12-34 format, with the letters smaller than the numbers. Although dated "71", most of these plates also ended up carrying 1971 stickers, to show compliance with the province's newly-instituted mandatory insurance program. The slogans "Sunny Manitoba" and "100,000 Lakes" were instituted on this base, the latter an apparent shot at Minnesota with their paltry "10,000 Lakes" (and relatively little sun, from what I hear).
MB 75 #DA89-61
Manitoba 1975 Passenger issue (1971 base). Continuation of the above baseplate, this plate features a different die set for the "100,000 Lakes" slogan (check out the rounded vs. squared zeroes). This plate carries a 1975 sticker, but plates of this era actually expired at the end of February of the following year, as indicated in the fine print "Expires 29 Feb. 76" on the sticker. I don't recall ever seeing another oval-shaped sticker, either.
MB 77 #ANB-821
Manitoba 1977 Passenger issue (1976 base). This new baseplate, featuring the slogan "Friendly" which is still in use today, was first issued in February, 1976. It was used with stickers through the 1982 (Exp. Feb. 83) issue. This plate used a more traditional ABC-123 format and dual sticker boxes at the bottom corners.
MB 84 #507 AAL
Manitoba 1984 Passenger issue. In 1983, this new black and red on reflective white base was introduced. It carries a debossed "83" in the left sticker box. This color scheme was apparently politically motivated, as the original plate design calling for red, blue and white rather than black. The New Democratic Party, who won the 1981 election in the province, had the design changed to these colors, which also happen to be the party's colors. Thanks to Andrew Osborne for this information, not to mention providing me with all but two of these Manitoba plates to begin with.
MB 87 #33 ACH
Manitoba 1987 Passenger issue. Initially, plates with serials below 100 were issued in this series, either in a 1 ABC or 12 ABC format with no leading zeroes. This arrangement did not last long until the series was standardized to six digits, with each sequence starting at 100 instead of 1. The low-digit plates that had been produced continued to be issued by special request, however.
MB 86 #150 EED
Manitoba 1986 Passenger issue. Continuation of the series above, the plates were later changed to an all-black embossed format with a non-reflective background. The debossed "83" in the lower left remained. This was done as a cost-saving measure, as the red, black and white reflective plates proved too expensive. That, and the New Democratic Party was about to lose control, so carrying their colors was no longer appropriate.
MB 95 #980 QDQ
Manitoba 1995 Passenger issue. Another continuation of the '83 base, this plate features a couple different changes. Production was switched to HiSigns in Alberta, resulting in different dies for the serial. It also has a month on the date sticker (staggered monthly registration was instituted in 1995), and a day of expiration sticker. Turquoise stickers such as this one were used during the initial implementation period of staggered registration. These stickers were used to assign "interim" expiration month/day combinations assuring that no motorist would have to pay for more than 12 months' registration at a time. The last of these turquoise stickers expired at the end of February, 1996 at which point black-on-white day stickers were assigned (see next).
MB 97 #980 QDQ
Manitoba 1997 Passenger issue. Same arrangement as above, this plate uses the "permanent" black-on-white day sticker. This sticker determines the day of the month that the plate expires, in this case July 12, 1997. The day is determined by the owner's birthday, with plates expiring four months after the owner's birthday (this plate would have gone to someone with the birthday of March 12.) This system is designed to help thin out end-of-month demand at the vehicle registry office.
MB 98 #ABR 384
Manitoba 1998 Passenger issue. In late 1996, this new graphic baseplate was first issued. This plate replaces all 1983-96 baseplates and features a river/lake scene with forest to either side and wheat in the foreground. It keeps the "Friendly" slogan and adds the Canadian Maple Leaf as the dot to the "i" in Manitoba, as well as the return of the bison at the top right. This plate series was issued in an ABC-123 format, the reverse of the previous plates. Also, daily registration is used with the same system as before, with this plate expiring on October 16, 1998. This issue won ALPCA's Plate of the Year award for 1997.
MB 03 #DPA 304
Manitoba 2003 Passenger issue. At some point in 2002, the contract to produce Manitoba plates shifted from Waldale in Nova Scotia to HiSigns in Alberta. As part of the contract, HiSigns was supposed to match the Waldale dies used on the initial plates on this base, producing essentially identical plates. Instead, this is what they came up with, using their own dies seen on some recent Alberta plates. The paint quality is also not very good on these plates, and a debossed "97" (similar to the omnipresent "83" on the 1983-96 series and left over from the original specification for these plates before they were ever produced) was erroneously placed in the lefthand sticker well. Needless to say, the government was less than happy with the final result. Manitoba's contract has since gone back to Waldale. This HiSigns run was short-lived, running only from the DPA series through the DWC series.
MB 03 #DPZ 231
Manitoba 2003 Passenger issue. As if they didn't have enough quality problems with this issue, HiSigns apparently produced a fair number of plates near the end of the DPx series with a small piece of metal embedded in part of their stamping equipment. This condition caused a small triangular imprint to be left at the top of each plate, visible over the "an" in Manitoba. For a closer look, click here. The stray piece of metal appears to be a corner piece cut from between the edges of two blanks to create the curved edges of the plate. Having these end up in the press while plates are stamped is not unheard of (I was recently issued a set of Maine antique auto plates with similar marks and the piece of metal pressed between the two plates for good measure), but having the piece embedded in the equipment and reproduced on such a large run of plates doesn't speak well for HiSigns' quality control, to say the least.
MB 04 #DWK 758
Manitoba 2004 Passenger issue. The triumphant return of the Waldale-manufactured Manitoba plate! Waldale picked up the production contract again in 2003 following the brief HiSigns run. The sequence was picked up starting at the DWD series, with the plates being identical to the initial series of plates prior to the DPA series.
MB 13 #GMR 584
Manitoba 2013 Passenger issue. In 2012 a slight change was made to the Manitoba base, changing the buffalo design in the top corner from a blue outline to a black solid. The plate remains otherwise unchanged.
MB 15 #GSZ 590
Manitoba 2015 Passenger issue. Miniscule production change alert! At some point in the late GRx or early GSx series, Manitoba plates started appearing in with slightly smaller bolt slots. I'm sure there was a very important reason behind the change.

Additional Manitoba information provided by: Andrew Osborne, Dave Hermanson, Andrew Turnbull

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

Last Modified 11/26/2016 (added 2013 plate, changed 2015 plate information).