Bicentennial License Plate

New License Plate Design Selected for Missouri Bicentennial!

All Missourians can celebrate 200 years of statehood with a new automobile license plate that will be out in time for the Show-Me State’s bicentennial in 2021.

Bicentennial license plate
The new Missouri license plate will be available starting on January 1, 2019.

House Bill 2380 established an Advisory Committee in 2016 to develop and approve a new motor vehicle license plate design commemorating the bicentennial of Missouri. The committee held public meetings last year in St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, and Poplar Bluff to gather input on the design. The new plate design, selected on January 24, 2017, will be issued to drivers beginning in 2019.

More information about the process for selecting Missouri’s next license plate can be found on the Department of Revenue’s website.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why change the motor vehicle license plate?

This change is to commemorate Missouri’s 200th anniversary of statehood on August 10, 2021. State law requires the Department of Revenue to begin a full reissuance of license plates with the new plate design no later than January 1, 2019. The bicentennial design will replace the current Missouri bluebird license plate.

Who decided on the new plate design?

State law (301.125, RSMo) made it the responsibility of an Advisory Committee to determine the new plate design. Committee members included the director of the Department of Revenue or his or her designee, the superintendent of the Highway Patrol, the correctional enterprises administrator, the director of the Department of Transportation, the executive director of the State Historical Society of Missouri, and the respective chairpersons of both the Senate and House of Representatives Transportation Committees.

What is the significance of the design?

The license plate’s color palette honors the Missouri state flag with the use of red, white, and blue. Waves in the bands of color represent a river. Rivers are an important symbol for Missouri, as waterways figured prominently in the state’s historic role as a gateway for American exploration and transportation.

Why was this design selected?

The Missouri State Highway Patrol did multiple rounds of testing to ensure a visible, readable plate design. During the test, the Highway Patrol placed the sample plates on a vehicle and positioned a patrol car 50 feet behind the car to ensure officers could read the plate. This test was completed both during the day and at night. The patrol car’s headlights, emergency lights, and spotlight were used to test the plate’s reflectivity and legibility. The selected design was deemed most readable by law enforcement.

How long will this license plate be issued?

The design is expected to be in use for five to ten years.