New flat-surface license plates make debut on Kentucky vehicles

September 15, 2020 | 12:07 am

Updated September 15, 2020 | 1:06 am

Graphic by Owensboro Times

A new kind of Kentucky license plate has begun appearing on motor vehicles in the Commonwealth.

Newer plates will gradually replace older license plates. There is no change in procedure for vehicle owners, who will continue to purchase plates and register vehicles with their county clerks. Fees for the plates will remain the same, as will the lineup of available special plates. 

The most significant difference is in their manufacture – digitally printed on flat aluminum instead of traditional, embossed metal with raised letters and numbers.


The larger, unseen difference will be in savings to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) on storage space, bulk manufacturing and unused inventory. With digital technology, standard and specialty license plates can be produced as needed rather than having to be mass produced.

Kentucky Correctional Industries (KCI) will continue to manufacture the plates at the Kentucky State Reformatory. But with digital technology, KCI will be able to print the requested number and ship them directly to county clerk offices. Under the current process, the state must account, store, and handle more than 300 license plate types at more than 145 locations and two warehouses.

The vendor of the new production equipment, Intellectual Technologies Inc., is temporarily taking over production from KCI and is printing the new Kentucky plates at its Fort Wayne, Ind., plant.

September 15, 2020 | 12:07 am

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