Massachusetts was on a two year registration cycle for passenger
cars, busses and school vehicle plates. All three of the stickers above, 76,
77 and 78 could be seen during 1976 on Massachusetts license plates of that
type. Months of expiration were also noted on the stickers all three years.
The last number digit should match the month of expiration. Even though the
months differ, the color of the stickers throughout the year remained constant.
This type of plate was first issued to new registrants in 1972 with 1973 expirations.
All plates were made on aluminum with 6 or less numbers.
Letters were used in one of 4 positions -prefix letter, suffix letter, second
position letter; third position letter. The plates come in two die types "1)
Walpole State Prison plates with traditional dies; 2) Polyvend plates; most
plates with last numeral of 5,6,7,8,9,0 + many vanities, low number reserved,
some ham radio, dealer, repair, and some commercial; numbers and letters were
shaped differently, slightly shorter and thicker in stroke." Information
is from the Massachusetts ALPCA archive.
Things aren't always what they seem......
These plates appear to be incorrectly stickered. The one
on the left would need an October expiration sticker to be accurate. The one
on the right is a reserved low number plate. They received odd numbered year
stickers. Most likely, the incorrect stickers on these plates were placed on
them later by collectors.
Fall and Spring safety inspection stickers issued in
Massachusetts in 1976.
1973 Massachusetts sample plates with 76 and 77 tabs. Sample
plates generally did not have stickers applied by the Registry of Motor Vehicles
in Massachusetts. These plates probably had stickers applied by a collector
1976 Massachusetts commercial truck plates. Commerical plates
carried the A, B, C or stacked AA, AB, or BB prefixes on the 73 type plates.
Not all, however, were in use during 1976. These plates used a one year registration
unlike the passenger car plates.
1976 Massachusetts car dealer plates.
1973 style Massachusetts vanity plates with December 76 and
December 77 expirations.
1976 Massachusetts Common Carrier license plate.
1976 Massachusetts farm plate.
Masschusetts disabled person plate expiring December of 1976
Massachusetts medical doctor plate expiring in December of 1976
Massachusetts ambulance plate expiring in December of 1977.
1970's Massachusetts hearse plate
These types of plates were in use from 1972 to 1981
76 Massachusetts amateur radio operator plate with
December 76 expiration.
This type of antique auto license plate was utilized
from 1973 to 1981. This one is updated with a December 1976 expiration
State Police license plate series introduced in 1975 and used
into the early 80's.
Metropolitan District Commission police plate of the type used from 1974 to
Massachusetts Metropolitan District Commission official plate
and vehicle plate of the style used during 1976
Municipal plates of this type were first issued in 1970,
and updated every two years with expiration stickers until 1975. Thereafter,
no stickers were required. Plates of this type are still in use, although the
police plate would be issued with a prefix. Rich
Bell, ALPCA 3454 of Wellfleet, Massachusetts, notes,"Both of
these series were issued sequentially, unless someone with horsepower was able
to get a desired number out of sequence. Plates of this series are seldom turned
in for cancellation unless mutilated. As vehicles in both series proliferate
and do not decrease in numbers, the low numbers are original and early issues
and high numbers are from recent years. My educated guess is that the police
plate is likely to have been in use in 1976, but there is no guarantee...just
good odds. As to the municipal plate, the odds are against its use then. I believe
the numbers then were around the 30,000 area. Even today, the highest I have
seen is 69,000 (December of 2004). The police series reached 9999 about 2 years
ago, and they added an alpha suffix. At that time, many police departments turned
in their old tired and beat up plates for bright, shiny new ones in the alpha
Below is a State and Fire Department official version of the plate.
Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (also known as the Metropolitan
Transit Authority or MTA) license plate of the style used from 1972 to 1982
Pioneer Valley Transit Authority plates were not issued until 1977
These plates were never stickered with expiration tabs.
Massachusetts bus plate used from 1973 through 1976 to 1981.
Massachusetts disabled veteran's license plate as noted by
the V prefix.
This one was used very late in 1976, and has the 1978 two year
1973 style Massachusetts trailer license plate with December
1978 expiration sticker issued in December of 1976.
1973 style Massachusetts trailer plate with December 1976 expiration sticker.
1976 Massachusetts repair plate
1976 Massachusetts owner repair plate
Massachusetts News Photographer plate used during 1976.
1976 Massachusetts U.S. Congress plate
Massachusetts consular corps plate
1976 Massachusetts motorcycle plates.
Click on plate for larger image
Sekonk, Massachusetts garbage truck plate expiring December
1976 Boston, Massachusetts Junk Collector license plate expiring May 1, 1976
Massachusetts cardboard movie prop police plate that corresponds
to police plates used during 1976.
Thanks to Rich Bell,
ALPCA 3454 for the updates on information on the plates on this page.
Massachusetts Medical Examiner plate of the type used in 1976
1976 Beverly, Massachusetts license plate attachment sold
at the Beverly Museum back in 1976.
1976 Boston Operation Sail license plate attachment
1976 Saugus, Massachusetts license plate attachment
Concord, Massachusetts U.S. Bicentennial booster attachment
1976 Ludlow, Massachusetts Bicentennial booster attachment
Plates I am looking for from Massachusetts:
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
29 Massachusetts truck in vg or better
Various 76 truck, trailer, bus, etc. plates
For more on Massachusetts license plates, you can follow these links:
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