Monday, March 1, 2010

INDIANA LICENSE PLATE HISTORY TIDBIT #2 -- Why plates ending in "9" and "0" were in high demand in '69

During the first week of January 1969, vehicle owners flocked to their nearest license branch, demanding plate numbers ending in "9" and "0," a phenomenon never seen before or since.

Why the sudden burning desire to have one of those two numbers?

Credit is due Indiana's then-new and long since repealed vehicle safety inspection law, which determined when a vehicle had to be inspected by the last digit of the license plate number.

You can read the Jan. 2, 1969 article from the now-defunct Evansville Press for the full details, but here's how it played out:
  • Motorists whose plates ended with "1" or "2" had to get their inspection done on or before March 31.
  • Plates ending in "3," "4" and "5" were due on April 30.
  • Plates ending in "6," "7" and "8" had to be inspected by May 31.
  • Finally, the "9" and "0" plates were due by June 30.
So there you go.  The "9" and "0" plates were popular among procrastinators!

And now you know ... the rest of the story!
NEXT TIME:  Find out the history behind the 1980 Indiana license plate which honored George Rogers Clark.  I'll even give you the name of the plate's designer!

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