How To Read Old Florida Tags / Plates

Florida allows registering antique vehicles (cars, trucks and motorcycles) made in 1975 or earlier with an old Florida license plate of the same year as your vehicle. These are referred to as YOM (Year of Manufacture) tags. Started in 1938 and continuing every year through 1975 these plates, issued by the Florida DMV, had a series of numbers and letters with designations for various meanings.

Pre-1975 Florida Plates

In the examples above, besides the year of issue, we can tell the county of issue, the use code and the plate number (serial). In the first example, the tag was issued to a resident of Volusia County on a Passenger Car that weighed between 3500 and 4499 pounds. It was the 11th tag issued with that use code in that county. Similarly, the second tag was issued to a Broward County resident, on a heavy weight Passenger Car that weighed 4500 lbs. or more. It was the 11,268th tag in that county in the "WW" category. The third example was issued during the war in 1944 in Volusia County, on a Passenger Car weighing between 2500 and 3499 lbs. It was the 10th tag issued in that use code that year. The first two examples may be eligible for YOM registration but the third tag is not because there were no cars manufactured in 1944 (but a 1944 war Jeep or truck may be eligible). However that low number yellow plate has 4 extra holes drilled into it making it ineligible, unfortunately. Here are the County Codes and Use Codes used between 1938 and 1975.

County CodesUse Codes
1= Dade24= St. Lucie47= CitrusNo Letter = Passenger Car 2500-3499 lbs.MC= Member of Congress
2= Duval25= Jackson48= ClayA= Motorcycle over 5 BHPMH*= Mobile Home
3= Hillsborough26= Osceola49= HendryB= Private Use Trailer 1051-4000 lbs.MF= Licensed Franchised MV Dealer
4= Pinellas27= Highlands50= WashingtonBB*= Private Use Trailer 501-1050 lbs.MI= Licensed Independant MV Dealer
5= Polk28= Pasco51= HolmesC= City Bus or CarMT= Licensed Trailer Coach Dealer
6= Palm Beach29= Columbia52= BakerCV*= Truck Commercial Vehicle 5000 lbs. or lessN= Trailer For Hire 1999 lbs. or less
7= Orange30= Hardee53= CharlotteD= Passenger Car 2499 lbs. or lessNN*= Trailer for Hire 1999 lbs. or less
8= Volusia31= Suwanee54= DixieDV= Disabled VeteranO= Trailer for Hire 4001 lbs. or more
9= Escambia32= Indian River55= GilchristE= Limo or Bus for Hire, 8 passenger or lessP= Off Road Vehicle ("Goats")
10= Broward33= Santa Rosa56= HamiltonF= Fleet VehicleQ= Antique or Historic Vehicle (20+ YO)
11= Alachua34= DeSoto57= OkeechobeeFHP= Florida Highway PatrolR= Motorcycle under 5 BHP
12= Lake35= Madison58= CalhounFO= Trailer for Hire under 4001 lbs. ½YRB= Ringling Brothers Circus Wagon
13= Leon36= Walton59= FranklinG= Truck to 1999/2049 lbs. or lessRP= Real Property ('70s only)
14= Marion37= Taylor60= GladesGF= Truck for Hire Full Year TagRV*= Recreational Vehicle (TT or MH)
15= Manatee38= Monroe61= FlaglerGH*= Truck 2000/2051-2999/3050 lbs.S= Limo or Bus for Hire, 9 pass. or more
16= Sarasota39= Levy62= LafayetteGK*= Truck 3000/3051-4999/5050 lbs.SRD= State Roadway Department
17= Seminole40= Hernando63= UnionGL*= Truck 5000/5051 lbs. or moreT= Passenger Car under 2000 lbs. ('34-'61)
18= Lee41= Nassau64= CollierGW*= Hvy. Equipment, Machinery, Well DrillerTA/TB/TC/TD/TE*= Truck Tractor
19= Brevard42= Martin65= WakullaHF*= Truck for Hire over 4051 lbs.TAF/TBF/TCF/TDF/TEF*= Tractor ½Y
20= St. Johns43= Okaloosa66= GulfHP= HandicappedV= Private Trailer 500 lbs. or less
21= Gadsden44= Sumter67= LibertyK= School Bus, Wrecker, Ambulance, HearseW= Passenger Car 3500-4499 lbs.
22= Putnam45= Bradford68= DMV Mail IssueL= Semi-trailer 4001 lbs. or moreWW*= Passenger Car 4500 lbs. or more
23= Bay46= Jefferson90= ReplacementM= Motor Vehicle DealerX= Tax Exempt or Official
* means letters can be stacked or side by side.
½Y means half year registration. Expire date shown on bottom line of plate.
RP was used on Manufactured Homes in the 70s and the order was reversed (2343 RP 1).
MV is motor vehicle. The dash was used only if there was room.
Where two weights are shown above (eg. 1999/2049 lbs.), the limit was increased by about 50 lbs. in later years.
The County Number designation was based on the county population rank in 1938. The Use Code letter was always smaller than the numbers.
When more than 100,000 vehicles where registered in one Use Code, the County Code was made small to make room. (See the 10W plate below.)
In 1943, during the war, a "43" corner tag was issued for the 1942 plate.
Florida used dual plates (front and back) in 1918 through 1921. Rare to find both pairs together now.
The "20-O-30" (1973 plate below) is very unusual with two dashes.
Here are some plates for you to decipher.

Sample Plate 1  Sample Plate 2  Sample Plate 3 
Sample Plate 4  Sample Plate 5  Sample Plate 6 
Sample Plate 7  Sample Plate 8  Sample Plate 9 
Sample Plate 10  Sample Plate 11  Sample Plate 12 

Prepared by Rich Courmettes
1942 Chrylser
Happy Motoring!
Updated 5/1/21.

All content Copyright © 2012- Richard Courmettes for The Villages Region Antique Automobile Club of America. All rights reserved.