Montana License Plates 1969-present

MT 69 #55-366
Montana 1969 passenger issue (1968 base). "Big Sky Country" had been adopted as a slogan with the previous (1967) baseplate and carried over through the end of 1975. These plates were issued in 1968 and were valid through 1969 with stickers. Plates from 1933 through present have carried a numeric county code as the prefix to the plate, issued to Montana's 56 counties roughly by order of population. Click here for a complete listing of Montana county codes. This plate was issued in what I'm told is actually the state's smallest county, #55, Petroleum county.
MT 71 #55-447
Montana 1971 passenger issue (1970 base). This plate was also issued in Petroleum county (#55). 1971 Montana plates used a strange sticker with its own large serial number and county code. This was discontinued in 1972.
MT 74 #26-3864
Montana 1974 passenger issue. This plate was introduced in 1973 and was debossed rather than embossed. It was used through 1973 without stickers (there is a debossed "73" under the year sticker) and through the end of 1974 with a sticker. This plate was issued in county #26 (Pondera county).
MT 75 #33-594
Montana 1975 passenger issue. Again, the state used a debossed format with these plates, using blue instead of green this time around. This plate was issued in county #33, Treasure county. Unlike previous issues, this base was only used for one year to make way for the Bicentennial base in 1976.
MT 76 #13-6121
Montana 1976 passenger issue. This Bicentennial base first introduced in 1976 and continued to be used with stickers through 1991. The plate featured a screened version of the state shape and also a Bicentennial logo, screened steer head, and the shortened slogan "Big Sky". This plate was issued in county #13, Ravalli county. Early issues of this plate used a straight-line die for the number '1', later issues introduced a serifed version.
MT 88 #10AA22
Montana 1988 Centennial passenger issue. This was an optional base issued from 1987 to 1989 to celebrate Montana's Centennial in 1989. They featured the state shape along with a mountain range at the top and the slogan "100 Years". These plates could be used until the end of 1996. This plate was issued in Carbon county, code #10. Counties with two-digit county codes used this 12AB34 serial format, with this plate being the 22nd issue from this county.
MT 89 #3ACJ64
Montana 1989 Centennial passenger issue. Another example of the Centennial plate, this one from a single-digit county and issued in a 1ABC23 format. This plate was issued in Yellowstone county, code #3.
MT 92 #3P-110B
Montana 1993 passenger issue. These scenic baseplates were first introduced in 1991 and were used through 2000. This plate was issued in county #3, Yellowstone county. Plates in counties #1-9 carry the letter "P" after the county number. This denotes Passenger registration, and also keeps the plate format constant between one and two-digit county codes.
MT 92 37-105A
Montana 1992 passenger issue. Same issue as above, this plate was issued in county #37 (Daniels county). This plate contains the two-digit county code and no "P". Serial numbers on these plates (following the county code) start from 1A through 9999A, then 1B-9999B, etc.
MT 01 7-A1666
Montana 2001 passenger issue. These baseplates were released starting in 2000 and replaced the previous issue by the end of that year. The plate also features a sky-blue background and state shape. The "Big Sky" slogan and steer head are also retained, to the lower left of the plate. The date "2000" is printed in small numerals above the state name at the top. Serial format on this plate once again starts with the standard county code, then one letter and 1-4 numbers (reversed from the previous issue). The "P" designation on passenger plates has apparently been discontinued on this base. This plate was issued in Flathead county, #7.
MT 04 4-A97240
Montana 2004 passenger issue. Another state bites the dust, it would seem. After issuing 3M Digital Flat Plates for a number of plate types for years, Montana finally switched their standard passenger plates to flat plates in late 2003. These plates use the thin version of 3M's ugly generic serial font. Unlike other recent 3M issues, these Montana flats seem to have an embossed edge to the plate and are harder to flap around. This example was issued in Missoula county, #4.
MT 05 6-A75004
Montana 2005 passenger issue. Another flat plate, a small quantity of plates on this base were produced using a slightly larger (but no less ugly) version of the 3M serial font.
MT 07 4C-7024
Montana 2007 passenger issue. Starting in January, 2006, this general issue was released. It features a stylized state name, the slogan "Big Sky Country" (seen for the first time since 1975) at the top and a mountain range at the bottom. The state shape is once again featured in the background, with a steer's head serving as the separator character in the serial. Serials this time out seem to be all-numeric, with single-digit counties having a 'C' appended to the county number on passenger plates (similar to the 'P' used on the 1992 base). Two-digit counties have a straight county code-serial arrangement (12-3456) with no 'C'.
MT 06 46-1747
Montana 2006 passenger issue. Two-digit county version of the 2006 base, showing the all-numeric arrangement (no 'C' appended to the county number). This plate was issued in Granite county (#46).
MT 11 4-00309A
Montana 2011 passenger issue. Released in January, 2010, this plate is billed as a retro issue, with white characters on a blue background resembling, in design anyway, the 1975 Montana base with the older "Treasure State" slogan substituted for the "Big Sky Country." Unfortunately, the new plate is a 3M digital (flat) design using their generic serial font, which more or less defeats the purpose of trying to recreate a retro design of an older, debossed plate. I applaud the idea, though, just not so much the execution. These plates were originally slated to replace previous bases during 2010, but due to mixed reviews of the plate and financial concerns, motorists have also been given the option to continue renewals of previous 2006-base plates.
MT 13 14-6851A
Montana 2013 passenger issue. Due in part to the unpopularity of the 2010 "Retro" issue, and in addition to allowing 2006 baseplates to be revalidated indefinitely, the state has also begun issuing no-cost replica plates of some previous issues. Motorists can now therefore select from the standard 2010 blue base, the 2006 base pictured here, the 2000 base or the 1991 base. All plates are made as 3M flats and can be readily identified by the use of the current 1-23456A or 12-3456A numbering system.
MT 13 13-1252C
Montana 2013 passenger issue. This is the new replica version of the 1991 base, perhaps the easiest of the bunch to identify since no flat plates were ever issued on this base during initial use.
MT 14 6-61939A
Montana 2014 passenger issue. Here is the replica 2000 base, which is slightly trickier to differentiate since this issue went flat in 2003 during its original run. The 2012+ replicas can again be spotted by the 1-23456A numbering system and the steer-head separator, neither of which appears on the 2003-2006 issues. The validation stickers also appear at the top right of these plates, as opposed to the lower right originally.
MT 14 AZT395
Montana 2014 passenger issue. In addition to the 1991, 2000 and 2006 passenger bases, Montana reintroduced the 1987 Centennial optional base in 2012 as a flat replica plate. These plates are issued using the state's standard ABC123 format used for optional plates, as they carry an additional fee unlike the other replica bases.
MT 17 3-33987C
Montana 2017 passenger issue. Continuation of the 2010 retro base, this plate features the new, improved serial font Montana started using on all issues in 2016. This appears to be the same font 3M developed for Arizona's flat plates and is a marked improvement from the generic 3M font used previously. As stated, this was a wholesale change to all Montana issues, although the new font may appear later in some counties than others and on some optional issues as backlogged old-font stock is used up.
MT 18 6-64899B
Montana 2017/2018 passenger issues. As this new font has been introduced throughout all available Montana issues, it is currently appearing on the standard issue (blue) plate as well as the three available previous-base "retro" graphics, the 1991, 2000 and 2006 bases, and the Centennial base.
MT 17 30-6562B
MT 18 3-46908C
MT 17 BUP914

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Last Modified 9/24/2017 (added 2017/2018 retro plates).