1976 was the year that California started staggered registrations.
1975 stickers had been issued for the calendar year 1975, with no month stickers to go with them.
In 1976, drivers received month stickers based on the center two characters of their plate.
In January of 1976, a driver would get an expiration somewhere between July of 1976 and June of 1977.
Therefore, only half of California's vehicles got 1976 stickers.
The system was based on the B and 2 from a type ABC 123 or 123 ABC configuration.
Thanks to Scott Broady of San Francisco, California for the information.

1969 style plates were updated with 1976 expiration stickers in 1975. Two different widths on the embossed blue California plates are shown above with a close up below with the wider version first issued in 1975.
The plate on the left is a later issue to a new registrant in 1975, and made of aluminum instead of steel like the one on the right.
The aluminum plates started at 701 LXU and went through 999 WKZ according to the ALPCA Archive.

January 1977 expiration on 69 style California plate.

1976 sample tabs on 63 and 69 sample plates.

Shown here with 76 and 77 expiration stickers, this style of plate was first issued in 1963.
According to License Plate County Codes of the United States and Canada by Tom Boyd, Eric Tanner and William Davis,"For the initial allotments of base plates issued in 1963, specific blocks of letters were assigned for issue by individual counties."
The KMX plate was issued in San Diego County, while the UPD plate was a later issue with no direct county correlation.

The 1963 plates came with the upper right sticker well debossed with a 63 and without it, as shown above from a backside view.

California Commercial For Hire Weight Fee Truck with tab issued in November of 1975 for expiration in November of 1976

1976 California quarterly commercial expiration tabs used on 1963 and 1969 commercial plates. Example shown below

1969 version of the California commercial license plates with December 1976 and August 1977 year long expirations.

1975 version with longer California embossing at the top of California commerical plates.
The one of the left has a January 1977 year long expiration meaning it was used through 1976, and the seven digit plate on the right was used from July 1. 1976 to July 30, 1977.
The seven digit plates were later issues after they exhausted the 6 digit issues.

California vanity plates with February and September 1976 expirations utilizing the two different die types.

1963 style base used at car dealership in California with 1976 tab. 1969 dealer type utilized also during 1976.

March 1977 expiration issued in 1976 on 69 California dealer license plate. Month stickers were probably not used until 1982 on dealer plates.
Someone may have peeled off a stack of stickers on this one to get to the 1977 year sticker.

California trailer plates used in 1976 and into 1977. There is a 1976 expiration sticker buried underneath the 1977 one.
The plate on the left is a 1963 vintage trailer plate, while the one on the right is a 1975 issue with the wider California embossing at the top.

1976 California Historical Vehicle plate. This type of plate was issued from 1965 according to the ALPCA archives.
The tab was issued in September of 1975 for expiration in September of 1976.
The Horseless Carriage plate on the right was issued from 1970 through 1983, and stickered each year of use.

1976 California disabled person's license plate.
Plates for the disabled had serial numbers that ended in DP.

1976 expiration on California Consul Corps plate.

1963 and 1969 style County/City exempt plates, as noted by the E in the octagon.
These were in use on local government and local law enforcement vehicles in 1976.

1963 and 1969 style California state vehicle plates show a diamond E monogram to the left.
These were used through 1976 on all state vehicles including California State Patrol cars.

California amateur radio operator license plate with a September 1977 expirations.
The 1976 expiration sticker is also underneath the 77 sticker.

Two types of dark yellow on blue California motorcycle bases.
The plate on the left has one large single sticker box for the November and 1976 expiration stickers.
The plate on the right has two sticker boxes for the separate stickers.
You can also see the difference in the dies with a more rounded C used on the CAL of the plate on the right.

July 1977 expiration issued in 1976 California motorcycle license plate

1963 California motorcycle base with tab issued in August of 1975 for expiration in August of 1976.

The 1977 Cotton-Farm trailer tab would have used on California cotton farm trailer plates in 1976. Registrations were renewed every three years.
The previous expiration was 1974. The 1977 expiration covered 1975, 1976 and 1977.

California special equipment plate of the style first issued in 1969.
These permanent plates were unstickered and used through 1976.

Click on sticker for larger image.

1976 California boat registration stickers.
These 3" x 3" stickers were affixed one sticker to each side of the vessel, 3 inches aft of and in line with the actual registration number.

1976 Riverside, California Bicentennial booster attachment

June 1976 sticker placed on top of the California Off Highway (All Terrain vehicles) registration sticker for ATV's.

Plate placed on city owned vehicles in Los Angeles, California in 1976.

April 1976 expiring Pasadena, California commercial business license plate

This small shield like plate went on the vehicles of individuals living in the Del Monte Forest/Pebble Beach Resort area of the Monterey Peninsula in California.
I am assuming these were used as passes into a gated community.

July 10-11 Modesto Paso de Las Sierras car rally plate

California cardboard movie prop plate dated with 76 sticker.

A couple California exempt movie prop plates used on movie police cars.

Plates I am looking for from California: You can contact me at mikesells@aol.com

For more on California license plates, you can follow these links:

California Department of Motor Vehicles

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