License Plates from Wyoming and Hawaii Are America’s Favorites, Says Survey

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A survey let drivers vote on the best and worst license plates.

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These plates are unique and uncommon, and their bright colors and graphic images are easily distinguished at a distance. Great if anyone still plays The License Plate Game.

America’s most attractive license plate comes from Wyoming, a new survey finds. Wyoming’s top-scoring plate features a silhouetted cowboy on a bucking bronco. asked 2,000 licensed drivers from all corners of the country which standard-issue license plates they liked most and least, choosing five of each. Voting continues at

Nearly a third of all respondents named the Cowboy State’s plate one of their favorites, and very few ranked it as unattractive. The top 10 plates were:
1. Wyoming
2. Hawaii
3. Utah
4. Alabama
5. Oregon
6. Maine
7. South Carolina
8. Florida
9. Georgia
10. Oklahoma

Delaware led the least-attractive license plates category in a landslide, with almost half of all respondents naming it one of their least favorite. The Delaware plate features gold lettering on a field of blue, but no images. The bottom 10 were:
42. Vermont
43. Massachusetts
44. District of Columbia
45. Montana
46. New York
47. Virginia
48. Alaska
49. Michigan
50. Arkansas
51. Delaware

Women overwhelmingly liked Hawaii’s rainbow design. Men did, too, but not as much as they liked Wyoming’s cowboy.

“These plates are unique and uncommon, and their bright colors and graphic images are easily distinguished at a distance,” said Managing Editor Des Toups. “Great if anyone still plays The License Plate Game.”

Cheap, fast printing on vinyl has largely replaced prison-stamped metal in most states, leading to a profusion of options that states and organizations use to raise money for colleges and causes. While those affinity plates have become much more numerous, it’s still the no-cost, standard state plate that winds up on most rear bumpers.

“License plates used to be a calling card for your home state,” Toups said. “The best ones still are.”

In fact, 13 percent of respondents said a plate had inspired a vacation or relocation, citing Florida most often. The other plates that successfully encouraged vacations or relocations were Georgia, California, Hawaii and Alaska.

Respondents also chose their favorite license plate slogans. The top five:
1. Alabama: Sweet Home Alabama -- 12.5 percent
2. New Hampshire: Live Free or Die -- 10.1 percent
3. Hawaii: Aloha State -- 5.6 percent
4. Alaska: The Last Frontier -- 5 percent
5. Florida: Sunshine State -- 4.6 percent

Drivers strongly disliked plates with only a Web address, such as California’s Of plates with slogans, they disliked the District of Columbia’s “Taxation Without Representation” most, with 12.5 percent voting for it as their least favorite slogan. Nothing else came close.
Lastly, respondents were asked about using special license plates to easily identify certain drivers.

  • 49.4 percent would support license plates identifying drivers older than 70.
  • 57.9 percent would support license plates identifying novice drivers.
  • 59.8 percent would support license plates identifying those convicted of texting while driving.
  • 69.1 percent would support license plates identifying those convicted of a DUI.

The full article and survey results can be found at

Methodology: commissioned a survey of 2,000 licensed adult men and women, distributed proportionately by region of the country. Each was given the option of five votes for most attractive license plate, then five votes for least attractive. States were ranked on net favorable minus unfavorable votes. The online-panel survey was fielded in October 2013.

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Press contact:
Des Toups
(510) 879-7840

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Des Toups
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