Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Commemorating Statehood

This plate, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Alaskan statehood, became available January 2nd, 2008. These are the 'general issue' plates (given out to anyone needing license plates) until the end of December, 2009.

This fetching design is also available as an Alaska personalized plate for passenger vehicles. They will not be available for motorcycles, as there wasn't enough room for both the logo and six characters.

The first plate ordered by the DMV in this series is FGF 100. I got a relatively low number for showing up early. The DMV folks were friendly, and even tolerant enough to entertain my request for a photo op:

Or maybe they just thought it safer to humor the crazy license plate guy. :)

Where the FGF prefix falls into the current number sequence on the roads today is interesting. Within the fully-embossed Alaskan F prefixes run, Alaska had already started on FG* (I've spotted FGA on the road and know of issued FGBs). I'm almost positive, however, that that FGC through FGE will not appear until 2010.

Some other features of this plate are worth noting. You'll notice that the word ALASKA at the top is not embossed, even though Alaskan plates have been recently moving towards full embossing. Since the font used for the ALASKA at the top is exactly the same as the font used in the official logo on the left that's used for the entire Celebration, we might speculate that the Commission graphic designers required that it match the word ALASKA in the official celebration logo. Creating new dies to match that font would have probably been more expensive.

You'll also notice that the letters and numbers are in an uninterrupted string, with no space, flag, prospective gold miners, bears, totems, university logos, or anything else in between. This is the first time (that I am aware of) that the three-letter/three-number "AAA 999" format hasn't been separated in some way. Since this base is also available for personalization, there is potential for some confusion between issued and personalized plates.

If you're in Anchorage tomorrow (may not be likely) and want to see the official kick-off of the plate (may be even less likely), it's at the Anchorage Museum at 1:00pm on Thursday, January 3rd. More details (including a PDF of the invitation can be found on the official Alaska Statehood Celebration Commission site.

It's nice to see Alaskan plates and State events coinciding. The 1867-1967 Centennial of the Alaskan Purchase ("Seward's Folly") was a similar venture with a design that has proven popular with collectors:

May this one fare as well!

1 comment:

Andrew T. said...

The new "Celebrating Statehood" plate looks very distinctive! I'm looking forward to seeing one "in the flesh" myself, even though Alaska-registered cars aren't exactly a common sight where I live in the eastern US.

The right-justified serial with the flag at left presents a format quite similar to that of pre-1976 plates.

One of the side-effects of an unspaced format is that it would make the implementation of serial formats outside of split 3/3 configurations a nonissue: I wonder if there's a chance that any non-passenger plate types will be made on this base?