Around the turn of the 20th century, as the number of automobiles and the consequent injuries and fatalities associated with them increased, state and city governments began to pass laws to regulate their use. Law enforcement required keeping tabs on and identifying vehicles, and so the license plate was born. After a short period of requiring motorists to make their own identifying plates, states began to manufacture them and require use of state plates. Maine began issuing license plates in 1905.
Collecting vintage Maine license plates is a fascinating and potentially profitable hobby. Through the years there have been a variety of designs and materials, including porcelain, for vintage Maine license plates. Collecting is an excellent way to possess some artifacts of American automotive history.