Old School DC License Plate Nerdery

Seriously old school DC plate

I saw this car yesterday and traffic, and immediately noticed that the plate said “HOYAS.” But then I noticed that it’s a black-and-white DC plate, embossed with a die in an older style, and got curious. A vanity plate like “HOYAS” is kind of like getting your first name as a Gmail username- it’s got early-adopter cred like crazy, and you do whatever you have to to to renew it and make sure you keep it, dammit. So over dinner last night, Tom and I got curious and wondered exactly how old this plate was.

DCPlates.net gave us the answer: This particular style of black and white baseplate, with the “Nation’s Capital” slogan on top and “Washington, D.C.” on the bottom, came into use starting in 1968. It was issued numerically until February 1974, when it was replaced with the first red, white, and blue design, but was still the standard plate for vanity plates until 1978. Which means this plate is older than I am. Awesome. That’s some dedication, right there.

And speaking of dedication, I’ve got to credit DCPlates for being pretty much the most thorough example of niche DC nerdery I’ve ever seen. Kudos to you guys.

Tiffany Baxendell Bridge is an Internet enthusiast and an incurable smartass. When not heckling the neighborhood political scene on Twitter, she can be found goofing off with her ukulele, Bollywood dancing, or obsessing about cult TV. She is That Woman With the Baby In the Bar.

Tiffany lives in Brookland with her husband Tom, son Charlie, and two high-maintenance cats. Read why Tiffany loves DC.

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One thought on “Old School DC License Plate Nerdery

  1. Congrats! You’ve now just identified the #1 target for drunken g-town students for the upcoming school year.