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U.S. Official

When the state began requiring the registration of motor vehicles in 1912 it made no exceptions for vehicles owned by governmental jurisdictions, whether state, local, or federal. Through 1928 “civilian” plates were provided to these vehicles, but without charge to the owning agencies. Beginning with the 1929 registration year the state provided purpose-made plates with the designation of “Official” on them, again without registration fees charged. Special plates designated “U.S. Official” were introduced for federally owned vehicles a year earlier, in 1928.  With few exceptions, by the late 1940s most federal agencies were providing their own plates and the U.S. Official plates had pretty much died out. (See the page on Official plates for information on the special plates provided to state, county and municipal government agencies for the same purpose.)
Photo Credits: 1938 courtesy Alan Betts. All others by Bill Johnston.



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