State-By-State: Indiana

**This page is under construction. Enjoy but please pardon the dust :)”


Nickname: “The Hoosier State”*

Statehood: November 7, 1816

State Bird: Cardinal

State Flower: Peony

Year of first state-issued plate: 1913


In my opinion, since 1977, no other state has had as large a collection of colorful and interesting graphic base plates as Indiana.


IND-480 247 Here is a very rusty 1938 Indiana which has passed onto other hands.

IN HH 1527

IN-AW6054IN HL 2405IN-CK7585 In the late 1950s and early 1960s Indiana encouraged safe driving with plates such as these.

IN-LD 1055The 1959 issue referenced our 16th U.S. President, who spent part of his childhood in Indiana.

IN 67(A)5672IN-22C7911 In 1966, Indiana celebrated its sesquicentennial with a bland black-on-white issue; the 1976 plate was the last one before the U.S. Bicentennial that changed many states’ approach towards license plates – perhaps none as much as Indiana.

Note: Of the plates that follow, many do not contain a month registration sticker. This means they were never actually issued. I obtained many of these plates a long time ago and likely from the same source. My goal is to replace as many as possible with ones with month stickers.

IN-55(B)9893A soldier adorned this Indiana base plate which first appeared in 1976 and expired sometime between January and June, 1977. Indiana began an unusual practice regarding registrations. The 1970 plate expired in ’71, the ’71 in ’72, and so on. But in ’74, ’75, and ’76 only the year of expiration was shown, with the month ranging from January to June only. My plain ’76 plate, had it hit the road, would have been issued in ’75. With this base, however, even though it expired in ’77 they stamped a “1976” on it, probably because it would align with the year of the U.S. Bicentennial.

IN 2(A)9193IN-57(A)5362IN18V 7IN-99H5692IN 52(A)6825IN 24 (A) 44IN 24(A)1038IN 55(B)7320IN 84(N)4672IN 43 (H) 2255IN 85(A)7130


In 2009, Indiana came out with this relatively plain white-on-blue issue featuring an image from the state flag. A couple of years later, they started making plates on a print-on-demand basis. So, if you first sought registration in 2013, you’d get a “13” in the upper right, while your friend who registered in 2009 or 2010 would have the “09” in the upper right corner, subsequently with stickers placed over it for each year thereafter.


In 2014, Indiana celebrated its 200th anniversary of statehood with this festive base. This particular one was issued in 2016; the “14” in the lower right corner is the county number. The “9-28” means it expires on September 28th. A lot of numbers on this one that without context may be difficult to figure out.


Indiana’s current base plate, first expiration in 2017, includes a covered bridge amidst a farm scene.

IN 635YL