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New Oregon license plates easier to read at night


Oregon vehicle registration plates are becoming easier to read at night, with more reflective background sheeting, the DMV announced Wednesday. DMV will start issuing the standard tree plates with the new material this month.

DMV’s plate vendor, Portland-based Irwin-Hodson, is using new 3M™ HD License Plate Sheeting.

The new plates will first appear starting with plate 001 KJW as DMV and its 60 field offices issue their plate supplies. Other types of Oregon plates will be converted to the new sheeting in the future.

The new HD sheeting is more reflective, secure and durable than the previous material,DMV officials said.

Vehicle owners also may notice new features on these plates: Oregon’s state outline on the left and two letters printed vertically on the far right side of the plate. The two letters are a manufacturer’s code to identify the month and year the sheeting was produced.

The previous plate sheeting used tiny pieces of round glass beads inside other materials to produce reflectivity, which shines outward like a floodlight. The new sheeting is “prismatic” or “high-definition” sheeting. It is similar to road signs, which appear brighter at night, the DMV said.

Any time you need to visit a DMV office, first check to find office hours and locations, and to make sure you have everything you need before your visit. Current wait times at larger DMV offices also are available at

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