A Website for Porcelain License Plate Collectors & Enthusiasts
North Dakota Archive
TOTAL KNOWN PORCELAIN VARIETIES: 2
I: PRE-STATES / CITY & COUNTY PLATES
Prior to the official statewide issuance of license plates beginning in 1911, a
number of North Dakota cities required automobiles to be licensed, including
Bismarck, Devils Lake, Dickinson, Fargo, and Northwood. However, the only city
known to have issued porcelain plates was Valley city.
Located in eastern North Dakota, Valley City is the county seat of Barnes County
and is known for its plethora of scenic bridges. When porcelain plates were first
issued in the city in 1910, the population there was around 4000. As license plate
historian Roy Carson discovered in his research on these rare plates, Valley City’
s law was actually passed on June 7, 1909 and also required motorcycles to be
registered. The first plates were black on aluminum metal issues with slightly
debossed numbers. But it was in 1910 that the city switched to porcelains
manufactured by the Baltimore Enamel and Novelty Company. Although records
suggest that 108 vehicles were registered that year, plate numbers are known as
high as 150. In 1911, a new porcelain was issued. Although records indicate that
only 89 vehicles were registered before the July 1, 1911 deadline when the state
took over, the three known examples are #128, #129 and #150, which suggests
perhaps that these were extra plates that were ordered and unused. As #150 is
the highest number known for both porcelain years, this may have been the
minimum order that Baltimore Enamel and Novelty Company would accept.
II: STATE-ISSUED PASSENGER PLATES
III: STATE-ISSUED NON-PASSENGER PLATES
Anton Kuntz and Tim Stentiford, "The Plate Garden State: North Dakota." Plates,
54, 1 (February 2008), pp. 7-8.
Roy A. Carson, “North Dakota – The Peace Garden State: Part 1 – Passenger Plates
and Some Non-passenger Plates.” ALPCA Newsletter, 36, 3 (June, 1990), pp. 67-71.
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