by Tom Baur, The License Plate Guy here at License Plate Garage

Illinois License Plate History

Dashboard Discs Part 1 — 1907 to 1910

Illinois started registering automobiles in 1907. But you didn’t get a license plate — you got a disc for your dashboard.

Dashboard Discs Part 2 — 1911 to 1917

See examples of more early issue dashboard discs from 1911 to 1917.

Hand-Made Plates

Because you didn’t get a license plate, drivers had to make their own. Here are some examples early hand-made plates.

Vented Plates

In the teens, overheating engines was a major concern so the state came up with some imaginative ways to prevent license plates from adding to the problem. Here are some examples of vented plates.

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