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 later.



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 sticker.



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 1983.



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 suffix series."

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 on busses
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 expiration sticker.



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


1976 Massachusetts consular corps plate



1976 Massachusetts motorcycle plates.


Click on plate for larger image

Sekonk, Massachusetts garbage truck plate expiring December 31, 1976

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 mikesells@aol.com


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


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