Collecting License Plates of Mexico

It has only been over the last five years that Mexico has gone from a single-design for all license plates across the country to a new registration system with colorful graphic designs, making Mexico’s new license plates, like this one from Sinaloa, much more sought after by collectors.

It has only been over the last five years that Mexico has gone from a single-design for all license plates across the country to a new registration system with colorful graphic designs, making Mexico’s new license plates, like this one from Sinaloa, much more sought after by collectors.

Mexico, or the United States of Mexico, as it is called in Spanish (los Estados Unidos Mexicanos), consists of 31 states and one Federal District (Distrito Federal—also know as Mexico City).

Aguascalientes

Aguascalientes

Campeche

Campeche

Chiapas, old style

Chiapas, old

Chiapas, new style

Chiapas, new

Since the late 1950s, Mexico used a semipermanent style license plate, where each state had the exact same design and colors. The only thing that distinguished one state’s plate from another was simply the abbreviation of the state name at the bottom of the plate next to the abbreviation MEX. Can you imagine all 50 states in the United States having the same exact design and colors on their license plates during a 40-year period? It is because of this single national style that one license plate from Mexico would often serve to represent the entire country in any particular international license-plate display.

Chihuahua

Chihuahua

Colima

Colima

Durango, old style

Durango, old

Durango, new

Durango, new

But what has happened in Mexico in the license-plate realm in the last five years represents a complete 180-degree turnaround, with the result being a sophisticated registration system with new, colorful and fully reflectorized graphic designs. It goes without saying that Mexico’s new graphic license plates are now much more sought after by collectors. Close examination of the new collectible license plates from Mexico reveal several design elements that are required by law. Each plate must have a jurisdiction code (a number from 01-32) that corresponds to the state’s name when all are listed in Spanish in alphabetical order. Each plate must also indicate whether it is for the front (delantera) or rear (trasera) of the vehicle. Motorists, therefore, cannot split a pair for misuse on two different vehicles. Each plate must also have a designation for private cars, trucks, buses, taxis and trailers.

Hidalgo

Hidalgo

Jalisco

Jalisco

Michoacan

Michoacan

Morelos, old

Morelos, old

Additionally, each Mexican plate must have a bar code. The bar code replicates the registration number for all 31 Mexican states, while in the Mexico City area (Distrito Federal), the bar code represents the vehicle identification number (VIN) of the vehicle. This feature permits police officers to scan the respective bar codes when issuing a ticket. In the upper right corner of the license plate is a small security seal bearing the small letters “SCT” that stands for “Secretaria de Comunicaciones y Transportes” or Department of Communications and Transportation.

Moreelos, new

Moreelos, new

Nayarit

Nayarit

Nuevo Leon

Nuevo Leon

Puebla

Puebla

As far as graphic designs and appearance, each individual state may use any colors, styles, slogans, graphics or abbreviations that it likes. Close inspection of the photos of Mexican plates clearly illustrate just how interesting Mexico’s new license plates are. They are truly inviting to all license-plate enthusiasts.

Queretaro

Queretaro

San Luis Potosi

San Luis Potosi

Sonora

Sonora

Tabasco

Tabasco

Tlaxcala

Tlaxcala

Veracruz

Veracruz

Yucatan

Yucatan

Zacatecas

Zacatecas

Collecting Mexican license plates can be very challenging, also. Often the most difficult states to obtain are the southern states of Yucatan, Quintana Roo, Campeche, Chiapas, Tabasco and Colima. A full display of all 32 Mexican plates is one of great color and contrast of designs of pyramids, and indigenous characteristics, which include the Aztec calendar, dancers, monuments and even heroes of the Mexican Revolution such as Zapata, Pancho Villa and Morelos. Viva Mexico!

Andy Bernstein is a Worthologist who specializes in collectible license plates.

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No Comments

  1. ANTONIE says:

    CAN I PURCHISED SOME LISENCE PLATES FROM U

  2. HI Antoine. If you go to the site THE PLATE HUT at http://www.platehut.com you will see an entire section on Mexico license plates where you can obtain Mexico license plates. Should you have any other questions just let me know.

    Many thanks.

    Andy Bernstein
    WORTHOLOGIST

  3. I spend a lot of time reading blogs and I have to say I’m impressed with your posts. It’s refreshing to find a blog that has valuable content such as yours. I’ll be a regular reader from now on, you can count on it.
    Thanks,
    Dennis

  4. Queretaro says:

    This is the first time I’ve commented here and I must say you give genuine, and quality information for bloggers! Great job.
    p.s. You have an awesome template for your blog. Is it a free template or did you have it designed especially for you, I’d love to talk to your designer !?

  5. Hi Dennis. Glad you enjoy the articles. I don’t design the template and have nothing to do with it so suggest you contact the Worthpoint editor directly.

    Thanks!

    ANDY

  6. Anta7 says:

    Mexican license plates are very beautiful unlike our European plates.
    We are a family who has visited Mexico two times.
    And every time we have tried to bring a Mexican plate back home as a souvenir.
    but unfortunately we were not able to find any plates to bring with us