Most plates have designated areas for validation stickers. Yet despite this, motorists have found interesting ways to display the stickers–especially if there is no designated space. Add to that the rigors of the road, the accumulation of many years in some instances, as well as cases where the plate is used as a platform for a mini-bumper sticker, and you get “Unusual Sticker Situations.”
I. Wrong Way
Stickers on these plates are upside down and sideways. It is left to the imagination whether they were done accidentally or on purpose.
The above plates all feature American flags of various shapes and sizes.
III. Cracked Up
These stickers were once shiny and new, but they became a victim of the elements or for other reasons became “all cracked up.”
Some states, including California and Nevada, allow plates to be revalidated indefinitely. That means that a resident of such states can pile up quite the sticker count if the car lasts.
The plates above have stickers placed in multiple places – sometimes just an extra corner, other times all over – and everything in between.
To multi-sticker or not multi-sticker…some states, particularly those in the east and in the 1970s, instructed motorists to place stickers in alternating corners. Not all followed the edict, or some did initially but as the years piled up strayed from the model.
The Nebraska US Bicentennial base incorporated two small graphics in the upper corners and a wavy band, with dates in each corner, extending across the bottom. This left no room for revalidation stickers without having to sacrifice a graphic or a printed year. Some motorists found a way to preserve all the elements, while others made that bold choice. Another oddity with this base, which lasted through 1984, is that in 1982 the state issued only a month sticker (other years contained both the month and the year in the same sticker).
Cracked Up & Multi-Sticker:
Cracked Up & Layers:
More two-way combos:
Multi-sticker with Freestyle and Layers, respectively.
Wrong Way, Cracked Up & Multi-Sticker:
Cracked Up, Layers & Multi-Sticker:
When I found I had two 1979 Kansas plates with the same stickers placed in the exact locations, I thought it was a most fantastic coincidence. I later found out that motorists were told to place them in these spots (even that somewhat strange one for ’79).
Starting partway through 2015 and concluding with some 2017 expirations, Kentucky issued a registration sticker with a two-digit month and just the last digit of the year. Plate 702 PSN expired April (04), 2017 (7). Plate 161 HEB displays both styles, May (5) 2015 (15), and May (05) 2016 (6).
In 1986 and 1987, Maryland drivers received pairs of plates. But while in 1986 they received a year sticker for each plate, in 1987 they got one month and one year sticker total. This was due to a transition to “staggered registrations” (the common system today), i.e., expirations based on specifically when the plate is registered, rather than generically by year. Washington, D.C. made the same transition a couple of years everywhere, which is why the lower right sticker reads 3-31-84 (3-31 being the standard expiration day for decades previous), then there is a “JUN” sticker and “85” sticker on the left.
Washington required stickers on both the front and rear plates for many years until 2002, when it switched to just issuing one sticker. As a result this Washington pair is mismatched: the rear plate carries a 2004 expiration, while the front has a most recent sticker of 2001.