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Best Antique New York license plates: New York license plates are often criticized for their lousy paint, but let's not forget that they were designed to last only a year or two at most. New York's white on brilliant red 1912 plate is the only porcelain issued by the state. After a few daring years in the 1920s, the color scheme remained orange black from 1927 through 1965. Best of the "Not-so- Old New York license plates: The 1944 wartime issue bears mentioning as what may be the first state-issued "repaint." Motorists in the Empire State received a pair of orange-on-black plates in 1942. Immediately afterward, wartime metal shortages prompted the issue of a single date tab for 1943, which covered the "N.Y. 42" on the rear 1942 license plate. But what happened to the front 1942 plate? It was mailed back in to Albany where the "2" in "42" was re-stamped with a "4" die to make it read "1944." Most of these stampings were crude, and off center, and perhaps even done by hand. The plates were then repainted in opposite colors, and remailed back to their original owners!

Toughest/Most Rare New York plates: The 1964 New York World's Fair plate was the first to use a strip-like vertical validation sticker, for 1965. Only one plate was issued that year, so the "natural '64" is a hard one to find; for many collectors, a good stickerless '64 is the last hole filled in their New York run! Like a great deal of New York World's Fair memorabilia, the stuff from 1939 is more common than that from 64-65, (mainly because the earlier Fair was a greater success, and more items were saved.) Additionally, New York issued three years of initial World's Fair plates, each of them in pairs: a dated 1938, a '39 in reverse colors, and a '40, which like the '38 was yellow/orange on black. The fact that the '64 was issued as a single, that it was used for two years, AND was painted without a layer of prime all contribute to its scarcity.

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