As part of your vehicle registration you are issued a set of general-issue license plates. The plate number is assigned to you by TxDMV and cannot be personalized. As of November 1, 2016, the State of Texas will no longer automatically replace your plates after 7 years. However, you may still apply at your county tax office for replacement plates if the license plate needs to be replaced for cosmetic or readability reasons. When a new general-issue license plate design is released, it takes several years before all registered vehicle owners receive the plates.
The Texas Classic
Introduced in July 2012, “The Texas Classic” is designed to provide Texans the highest public safety protection. It is the first license plate in the country to feature two, high-visibility security threads embedded into the plate sheeting, making it easier for law enforcement to spot legitimate plates. Is white with black lettering, and features the Lone Star, state silhouette, and the “The Lone Star State” slogan.
The Texas Classic offers several benefits:
• Enhanced security features.
• Optimum readability for law enforcement.
• Increased size of the plate number.
• Black and white plates look good on any color vehicle.
This new design also changes the passenger vehicle number pattern – three letters followed by four numbers – that will make it easier to remember your license plate number. The plate number is also increased with the letters and numbers now a full inch wide and just over 2 1/2 – inches tall.
Lone Star Texas
Lone Star TexasThis was the first digital, general-issue license plate, and also the first to use full color and full-plate graphics. When it was launched in June 2009, it began the seven-character plate number. After 33 years, Texas’ growth exhausted the six character alpha-numeric plate patterns. The new passenger vehicle plate patterns began with two letters, followed by a number and then a letter and three numbers. The plate design was selected by Texans in an online e-Vote. Unfortunately, the plate design was not favored by law enforcement, and some Texans complained the plate’s colors clashed with their vehicle color.
Panoramic TexasThis license plate was introduced in 2000, and 31.5 million sets of these plates were manufactured before a new general-issue license plate was launched in 2009. These plates represent the last of a Texas era. The design has the distinction of being the last stamped plate in Texas history, and also the last general-issue plate issued with six characters. The design of this plate features a little bit of everything, including a space shuttle, oil derrick, and cowboy on a horse. When it was launched in 2000, it became the first Texas plate to use three colors – blue, red and black.