How To Read Old Florida Tags

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.MF= Licensed Franchised MV Dealer
2= Duval25= Jackson48= ClayB= Private Use Trailer 1051-4000 lbs.MI= Licensed Independant MV Dealer
3= Hillsborough26= Osceola49= HendryBB*= Private Use Trailer 501-1050 lbs.MT= Licensed Trailer Coach Dealer
4= Pinellas27= Highlands50= WashingtonC= City Bus or CarN= Trailer For Hire 1999 lbs. or less
5= Polk28= Pasco51= HolmesCV*= Truck Commercial Vehicle 5000 lbs. or lessNN*= Trailer for Hire 1999 lbs. or less
6= Palm Beach29= Columbia52= BakerD= Passenger Car 2499 lbs. or lessO= Trailer for Hire 4001 lbs. or more
7= Orange30= Hardee53= CharlotteDV= Disabled VeteranP= Off Road Vehicle ("Goats")
8= Volusia31= Suwanee54= DixieE= Limo or Bus for Hire, 8 passenger or lessQ= Antique or Historic Vehicle (20+ YO)
9= Escambia32= Indian River55= GilchristFHP= Florida Highway PatrolRB= Ringling Brothers Circus Wagon
10= Broward33= Santa Rosa56= HamiltonFO= Trailer for Hire under 4001 lbs. ½YRP= Real Property ('70s only)
11= Alachua34= DeSoto57= OkeechobeeG= Truck to 1999/2049 lbs. or lessRV*= Recreational Vehicle (TT or MH)
12= Lake35= Madison58= CalhounGF= Truck for Hire Full Year TagS= Limo or Bus for Hire, 9 pass. or more
13= Leon36= Walton59= FranklinGH*= Truck 2000/2051-2999/3050 lbs.SRD= State Roadway Department
14= Marion37= Taylor60= GladesGK*= Truck 3000/3051-4999/5050 lbs.T= Passenger Car under 2000 lbs. ('34-'61)
15= Manatee38= Monroe61= FlaglerGL*= Truck 5000/5051 lbs. or moreTA/TB/TC/TD/TE*= Truck Tractor
16= Sarasota39= Levy62= LafayetteGW*= Hvy. Equipment, Machinery, Well DrillerTAF/TBF/TCF/TDF/TEF*= Tractor ½Y
17= Seminole40= Hernando63= UnionHF*= Truck for Hire over 4051 lbs.V= Private Trailer 500 lbs. or less
18= Lee41= Nassau64= CollierHP= HandicappedW= Passenger Car 3500-4499 lbs.
19= Brevard42= Martin65= WakullaK= School Bus, Wrecker, Ambulance, HearseWW*= Passenger Car 4500 lbs. or more
20= St. Johns43= Okaloosa66= GulfL= Semi-trailer 4001 lbs. or moreX= Tax Exempt or Official
21= Gadsden44= Sumter67= LibertyM= Motor Vehicle Dealer
22= Putnam45= Bradford68= DMV Mail IssueMC= Member of CongressA= Motorcycle over 5 BHP
23= Bay46= Jefferson90= ReplacementMH*= Mobile HomeR= Motorcycle under 5 BHP
* means letters can be stacked or side by side
½Y means half year registration
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 (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.)
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 2/11/13.

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