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Old 12-31-2011, 10:29 PM
Attila Bethlenfalvy Attila Bethlenfalvy is offline
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Thumbs up Any plate collectors here?

Would love to learn/catalog what states had similar offerings and in what years.

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Old 12-31-2011, 11:07 PM
Rick Franklin Rick Franklin is offline
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I have a pair of 1986 ILLINOIS funeral home plates to go along with my 86 Lincoln hearse. Patrick Martin gave me the name of a collector that he had met and Patrick seems to have some knowledge of these plates.
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:02 AM
Patrick J. Martin Patrick J. Martin is offline
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Illinois has had separate ambulance, funeral home, and livery license plates for a couple decades now. Off the top of my head, I'm not sure how far back they go, but I know that I have them dating back to 1975 in my own collection.

You used to get a new plate each year with the year stamped into the metal. Starting in 1992, you kept the plate and starting putting a renewal sticker on it each year.

The ambulance license plates in the 1970s had the letters AMB stacked vertically along the plate's left side. The 1980s and newer plates have the word AMBULANCE stamped along the bottom.

The funeral home plate, which was good on any vehicle owned by a funeral home, not just the hearse, had the letters FH stacked vertically along the left side thru 1988. Starting in 1989, the letters FH became the same size as the plate number and followed the number in a single line.

The livery plate, which was used on for-hire cars including limousines but not taxis (privately owned limousines are issued a standard passenger car plate), had the word LIVERY stamped vertically along the left side. In the very late 1980s, though I'm not sure what year exactly, the livery plates received the letters LY in the same size as the plate number and following the number in a single line in addition to the word LIVERY along the left side. In the very early 1990s, the word LIVERY was dropped from the plate. A little known fact is that there are two separate livery plates in Illinois. For hire cars registered in the City of Chicago have a unique livery plate compared to for hire cars in the rest of the state.

Additionally, in 1975 and 1976 only, there was also a plate with the word LIMO stacked vertically along the left side. This plate was in addition to the livery plate. This plate was discontinued after only two years because it caused confusion as to what constituted a livery car vs a livery limousine vs a funeral home limousine vs a privately owned limousine. I have spoken to license plate collectors about the Illinois LIMO plate, and even they are not clear on just what exactly Illinois was thinking with that plate. One collector even told me that he thinks the LIMO plate may have never actually been issued to the public even though the state did have them made due to the confusion it was causing.

I have often wondered myself what states had special funeral and/or ambulance designations. Also in my collection, I have a Massachusetts plate with a very large HEARSE stamped on it followed by a three digit number. My plate has a 1981 renewal sticker on it, but I have no knowledge about Massachusetts plates to be able to tell you any more.

A story I have heard, and I have often wondered if its true or not, is someone told me once that New Hampshire, whose state motto of LIVE FREE OR DIE is stamped into their plates, does not issue a specific hearse plate, but that on plates that go to hearses, the OR DIE part is left off. Can anyone here confirm or deny that story?
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Old 01-01-2012, 01:03 AM
Brad Ross Brad Ross is offline
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This photo on Flickr shows a Chrysler Town & Country hearse with a New Hampshire plate with no "Live Free or Die" at the top:



The caption reads "Look closely- these aren't normal New Hampshire number plates. Is the "Live free or die" motto too emotional for the bereaved?"

http://www.flickr.com/photos/48094458@N00/3742978903/
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Old 01-01-2012, 01:15 AM
Patrick J. Martin Patrick J. Martin is offline
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Of course I also notice the green cross on either side of the number, and the lack of the "Old Man in the Mountain" decoration. It would seem that perhaps New Hampshire does have a special plate for such vehicles. Now I have to wonder how long such a plate existed, and if the story I heard may have been true at some time in the past.

Thanks for finding that picture!
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Old 01-01-2012, 06:57 AM
Paul Steinberg Paul Steinberg is offline
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The + on the plate is/was one of the symbols that NH allows for use on the plates. I had a freind who's name was BAT and his wife was BEE... the plate read BAT+B..
Here is a page of NH license plates, but no funeral or ambulance plate.

The State motto went all the way to the US Supreme Court ...From Wikipedial
Quote:
In 1971, the New Hampshire state legislature mandated that the phrase appear on all non-commercial license plates, replacing "Scenic."
In 1977, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case of Wooley v. Maynard, 430 U.S. 705, that the State of New Hampshire could not prosecute motorists who chose to hide part or all of the motto. That ruling came about because George Maynard, a Jehovah's Witness, covered up "or die" from his plate. "By religious training and belief, I believe my 'government' - Jehovah's Kingdom - offers everlasting life. It would be contrary to that belief to give up my life for the state, even if it meant living in bondage." [2] Pursuant to these beliefs, the Maynards began early in 1974 to cover up the motto on their license plates.
He was convicted of breaking a state law against altering license plates.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6–3 in his favor and likened Maynard's refusal to accept the state motto with the Jehovah’s Witness children refusing to salute the American flag in public school in the 1943 decision West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette.
"We begin with the proposition that the right of freedom of thought protected by the First Amendment against state action includes both the right to speak freely and the right to refrain from speaking at all,” Chief Justice Warren Burger wrote for the majority in Maynard.
"Here, as in Barnette, we are faced with a state measure which forces an individual, as part of his daily life indeed constantly while his automobile is in public view to be an instrument for fostering public adherence to an ideological point of view he finds unacceptable.
"The fact that most individuals agree with the thrust of New Hampshire’s motto is not the test; most Americans also find the flag salute acceptable," Burger wrote.
The Supreme Court concluded that the state’s interests paled in comparison to individuals’ free-expression rights.
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Old 01-01-2012, 08:28 AM
David Smith David Smith is offline
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Connecticut has separate Hearse and Ambulance plates.

Originally the Hearse plates just had a single letter U prefix for Undertaker.
Then they added the word HEARSE.



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Old 01-01-2012, 12:09 PM
Attila Bethlenfalvy Attila Bethlenfalvy is offline
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:19 PM
Dwayne Brooks Dwayne Brooks is offline
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:40 PM
Paul Newman Paul Newman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwayne Brooks View Post
Dwayne hearse plates started in Mass in 1969. They looked identical to that one except instead of red they were blue. Then around 67 they went green. As far as i now ambulance plates have always been separate here.
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