We’d Move to These States Just for the License Plates

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A Hawaii license plate reads SHROOM with a rainbow design on the back of a van

Deciding to move usually doesn’t involve whether or not you like the license plates. But when perusing through the following ten states, you might just change your mind on that.

These licenses represent some of the best each state has to offer. From beautiful scenery, bold colors, and social causes, these are the places we may just move to because of the cool license plates.

Cool License Plates for Even Cooler States

So what makes these license plates so cool? First, the fact that you can choose the plate to match your style and your vehicle is pretty neat. Plus, the colors, designs, and creativity make a cool way to represent your amazing state.

10 License Plates We’d Change States For

So, while you may not move from one state to another based solely on its license plates, with these ten, it could become a primary decision-maker if you want to look cool, and here’s why.


Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The state of Florida has more than 120 specialty license plates, supporting and promoting education and awareness for various programs. They feature programs such as Conserve Florida Fisheries with fish in blue water and Florida’s very own Blue Angels, a Navy flight demonstration squadron. 

But you can also get plates that highlight Florida’s wildflowers, wildlife, pets, social justice, and more. You’ll represent the state well with one of its many unique plates perfectly symbolizing the Sunshine State.

Traveler’s Tip: Cruise down one of Florida’s best scenic drives and you’ll be sure to spot many of these unique plates.

New Mexico

Awmcphee, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

New Mexico’s license plates are the only plates that specifically say the state and the country — New Mexico, USA — to differentiate it from Mexico. But you’ll instantly recognize New Mexico’s plates because of the iconic red and green chiles on a black background.

But you may also recall another symbol next to those chilies, the Zia Sun. This symbol originates from the Zia Pueblo representing the four cardinal directions, the four seasons, and more. These iconic symbols represent the Land of Enchantment’s tradition and culture. 

You may also see some with hot air balloons, roadrunners, yucca plants, and others. They feature bright and bold colors such as turquoise, yellow, black, and orange. These plates commemorate the state beautifully. 


Oregon Department of Transportation, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

While it may not have the extent of plates that Florida does, Oregon still offers over 50 specialty ones. They have everything you’d expect, such as showing support for the military, conservation, wildlife, and various other causes.

Some license plates have an image of salmon, Crater Lake, evergreen trees, and even ones that will take you down Oregon’s wine trail. These are almost as stunning as the coast that stretches along Oregon’s shores.


Walser.FL, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Utah has three standard-issue plates but still offers a variety of options for customized ones. Two of the three standard plates highlight what Utah is known for, skiing and Arches National Park. The third simply includes the state name and the US flag with the inscription, “In God We Trust.”

You can also get specialty plates with a group-specific logo on the left side. Regardless of the type of plate ordered, you’ll know you represent your cause with a logo that stands out.  You can get ones that highlight radio, the Boy Scouts, children’s groups, colleges and universities, sports, military, wildlife, Zion National Park, and more.


Twan1007, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Wyoming may have only 12 specialty plates available, but that doesn’t matter when it comes to its historic image of the bucking horse in the foreground of Squaretop Mountain. Combine that with the vibrant blues, greens, and yellows, and you’ve got yourself one cool license plate. 

Because Wyoming has the lowest population resulting in minimal registered vehicles, this license plate is also one of the rarest. That’s what makes Wyoming so cool, even if all the designs include the bucking horse logo.


Lieutenant Ramathorn, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hawaii’s plates represent the state’s iconic landscape. Here, you’ll find plates with the well-known rainbow and ones of its national parks, seascapes, and erupting volcanoes.

But why did they choose the rainbow? Hawaii has had diverse people arrive in the islands over the years. Combined with the natives, this results in many mixed cultures. With its many colors, the rainbow symbolizes the unique cultures that make up the islands of Hawaii.


The classic green and white mountain design on 80% of Colorado’s license plates might make you want to move here. Of course, the mountains might do that job on their own. But there’s still more to get excited about. Colorado has 180 different types of plates to choose from.

Some unique ones support aviation, Flight for Life, and the Carbon Fund in orange and blue colors representing Colorado’s beloved Broncos.

You’ll also find all the specialty ones, such as veterans, pioneers, and more. But a few of the rare ones that you wouldn’t expect support greyhounds and horses. You can even get a plate representing your love of Pueblo Green Chile.

North Dakota

Zcarstvnz, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Many people joke about never wanting to move to or even visit North Dakota, but ironically it has made our list of places we’d move to for the license plates.  

The state uses actual photographs on its plates. They won second place in an automobile license plate contest. It has a majestic bison set on a sunrise amidst North Dakota’s expansive landscape beside a golden stalk of wheat.

With a few other plates to choose from, you can feel proud that your vehicle sports award-winning plates.


Lieutenant Ramathorn, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The colors make Idaho’s license plates memorable. With a brilliant red on the top representing the sunset and a sky blue on the bottom with a silhouette of the majestic mountains, the plates beautifully represent Idaho. 

While Idaho does not have as many specialty plates available as Colorado or Florida, they still have plenty to choose from. You can support agriculture, the State’s Centennial, colleges and universities, Idaho’s famous potatoes, Lewis and Clark, the Sawtooth Mountains, winter sports, and much more.


Tontig Fox, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

From simple blue lettering on a white background to the intricate design of the iconic Mackinac Bridge, Michigan has the plates to warm you, even if its winter weather doesn’t.

Keeping the design simple yet elegant with its classic blue lettering on white background, you can customize plates here with a specific icon highlighting almost any topic. Choose from wildlife, military, social justice organizations, and more. 

How to Get Specialty License Plates in Any State

Each state has its own rules to apply for specialty license plates. However, if you visit the state’s motor vehicle division, you’ll find details on how to apply for the license plate of your dreams. 

Generally, you’ll complete an application, pay a fee, and wait for approval. Once approved, you can represent both your personality and your state with one of the coolest license plates in the country.

Some of these license plates highlight the amazing things each state holds. From agriculture such as chiles and potatoes to wildlife, iconic scenery, and more, you can find a colorful and unique license plate to show off as you travel. 

Some people love to count how many license plates they can spot on their road trip and take note of their favorite. If you move to any of these states, your plate may make the list of coolest ones in the country.

Would you move to a state just for a cool license plate?

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