COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Gov. Mike DeWine unveiled Ohio’s new standard license plate on Thursday, a colorful and busy design that showcases the state’s agriculture, nature, cities and aviation history.
“I wanted something that reflected the beauty of Ohio,” DeWine said after lifting the curtain on a plate that he said references the state’s past and looks ahead to its future:
The Buckeye State hasn’t changed the look of its plates since 2013, when it switched from a picturesque farm-and-city-themed design similar to the one unveiled this week and transitioned to the current white plate with a silver-lettered background and a red triangle.
Eight years is the longest Ohio has ever gone between changing license plates. In fact, every year between 1908 (when the first statewide plate was issued) and 1973 got a new plate. But starting in 1974, yearly registration transitioned to the sticker system in place today instead of changing the physical plate every year.
The gallery below shows a history of multiyear standard license plates in Ohio, from 1974 to present:
One specialty plate Ohio has yet to change in more than 50 years is the DUI plate, given to drunk driving offenders since 1967 to be used for limited driving privileges. The basic mustard yellow plate with bright red lettering has been mandatory for DUI offenders since 2004:
Ohio’s new license plate will be available to drivers on Dec. 29. That was the date given before the BMV acknowledged an error in the design of the new plate that had the Wright Flyer airplane pointed in the wrong direction to be pulling a banner reading, “Birthplace of Aviation.”
The basic design of an urban landscape on the left and a rural scene toward the right is the fourth such standard U.S. plate, sharing with Iowa, Illinois and one of Michigan’s three default plates: