Polk's First License Plate (Tag)
Historic Polk County, Florida License Plate
Florida has an unusual and complicated position among the states regarding early
license plate laws.
In 1905, the state licensing laws went into effect. By the time this law was discontinued
in 1911 more than 14,000 vehicles had been registered.
In late 1911, the state also authorized the various counties to issue license plates
as well. From 1911 to 1917, a spectacular array of plates, mainly porcelains, were
The result of these laws required many vehicles to display two plates, one from
the state and one from the county, for the period 1911 through 1915.
In a few instances, during this same period, certain cities even had license plate
requirements, thus requiring their resident motorists to display three plates.
The porcelain license plate featured in the above image was probably issued pursuant
to the 1911 state law authorizing counties to issue their own license plates. Because
the law went into effect in late 1911, it is likely that the above featured 1912-13
license plate was the first to be issued for Polk County. The plate designation
"1" was usually reserved for the Sheriff of the county.
The above image of the original license POLK CO, FLORIDA 1912-13 plate was provided
courtesy of Mr. Benjamin C. Walker.