This study assesses Kentucky’s options for potentially re-plating all motor vehicles registered in the Commonwealth. The report begins with a background and discussion of Kentucky’s plate production processes, the difference between flat and embossed plates, and the structure of license plate labor at the Kentucky State Reformatory in La Grange. It details current plate production costs and processes, along with fees and production numbers. It evaluates three scenarios for future plate production: flat plate production, a hybrid system with embossed general issue plates and flat specialty plates, and an embossed plate system with in-house printed sheeting. Also included is an analysis of the effects of license plate characteristics on automated license plate reader accuracy, which has implications for automated screening and tolling. From there, the policies and approaches of other states are discussed. The report ends with a discussion of implementation costs, challenges, and strategies for state officials.

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The contents of this report reflect the views of the authors, who are responsible for the facts and accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the University of Kentucky, the Kentucky Transportation Center, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the United States Department of Transportation, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. The inclusion of manufacturer names or trade names is for identification purposes and should not be considered an endorsement.

© 2016 University of Kentucky, Kentucky Transportation Center

Information may not be used, reproduced, or republished without KTC’s written consent.