Vehicle registration plates of Alabama

Alabama has issued license plates for motor vehicles which were operated on highways since 1911. Some municipalities issued their own license plates motor cars as well as for horse-drawn vehicles prior to that date. The earliest surviving example was a bronze plate, "No. 1", which was issued for a two-horse dray for the city of Bessemer.
Later, the state issued plates of 4 and one half inches wide and not more than 12 inches long, with the letters "ALA" arranged vertically on the left and 3" tall numerals with 1/2" strokes.
Later in 1916, Alabama switched its license plates from porcelain to stamped tin plates. In 1917 the issued year was stamped on the plates and in 1919 the plate’s size was increased by 6" x 15". A code for the vehicles weight class was added in in 1922.
In 1942 Alabama started using a code for each county and assigned numbers 1, 2, and 3 to the most popular counties like Jefferson, Mobile and Montgomery and numbering the rest in alphabetical order. During the World War II in 1943, the state issued window decals alone due to metal shortages. In 1951 a heart shape and the phrase "Heart of Dixie" was added to the state's license plates, adopting a slogan which was created by the Alabama Chamber of Commerce. The law has never been replaced, and the symbol still appears on all standard-issue plates though it may be small.
Since 1980, Alabama uses a registration system based on the first letter of the registrant's last name and registrations starts from January and expires in November.

Image First issued Design Slogan
1971 Black on reflective mint green with embossed 72 Heart of Dixie
1972 Red on reflective white with embossed 73 Heart of Dixie
1973 Black on reflective white with embossed 74 Heart of Dixie
1974 Black on reflective yellow with embossed 75 Heart of Dixie
1975 Blue on reflective white with embossed 76 Heart of Dixie
1982Red on reflective white Heart of Dixie
late 1987Blue on reflective white Heart of Dixie
January 1993 Blue on reflective white Heart of Dixie
2006 God Bless America and Heart of Dixie
January 2, 2009Reflective with Alabama Gulf Coast graphic Sweet Home Alabama and Heart of Dixie
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