Indiana State Police

In July of 1921, The Indiana General Assembly created the Motor Vehicle Police as a means to combat the increasing problem of car theft in the state.

In 1925, the force was finally granted police powers, however an officer could not arrest even a known criminal unless he was also a traffic violator! In 1933, the Indiana State Police was formed under the umbrella of the new Division of Public Safety with 66 new recruits.

By 1937, that number increased to 170 officers. In 1939, the ISP had the distinction of being the first law enforcement agency in North America to have authorized the use of a chemical test to determine levels of intoxication with the famed "Drunkometer".

This was followed in 1955 with an improved version of the device called the Breathalyser invented by ISP Captain R.F. Borkenstein. This successful device has been used by police agencies around the world to assess impairment by alcohol in driving offenses. In 1947, an aviation division was created and in 1951, 25 new full time officers were hired for the new Motor Carrier Division to address commercial vehicle traffic regulations.

The Bureau of Criminal Investigation was formed in 1998. Today, the ISP continues it's mandate of working with communities to improve public safety, enforcing traffic and drug laws, investigating crimes and enforcing the laws and regulations pertaining to commercial motor vehicles.

Indiana State Flag

The flags dimensions shall be three feet fly by two feet hoist;
or five feet fly by three feet hoist; or any size proportionate to
either of those dimensions. The field of the flag shall be blue with
nineteen stars and a flaming torch in gold or buff. Thirteen stars shall
be arranged in an outer circle, representing the original thirteen states;
five stars shall be arranged in a half circle below the torch and inside
the outer circle of stars, representing the states admitted prior to
Indiana; and the nineteenth star, appreciably larger than the others
and representing Indiana shall be placed above the flame of the torch.
The outer circle of stars shall be so arranged that one star shall appear directly
in the middle at the top of the circle, and the word "Indiana" shall
be placed in a half circle over and above the star representing Indiana
and midway between it and the star in the center above it. Rays shall
be shown radiating from the torch to the three stars on each side
of the star in the upper center of the circle.

1941 Issue
SO = State Owned


Embossed steel (Approx, 8" x 5.5")
State Vehicle-Confirmed ISP use

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this type plate on duty....
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1942 issue
State Owned Car over number over indiana - 42

Picture courtesy of the Indiana State Police
 

1949 issue

1952 State Owned- Type used by State Police
Picture courtesy of Vintage Police Cars Magazine

1954-55 State Owned- Type used by State Police




1958 State Owned base
DRIVE SAFELY slogan
Picture source: e-Bay


Exact date unknown- Sports colors similar to 1961 Indiana plates but uses 1956-1958 DRIVE SAFELY slogan.
Number may be too high for ISP use.


1961 State Owned base
Picture courtesy of
Sheriff Marty Talbert, Howard Cty IND

1964 State Owned base
Plate courtesy of the John Yeaw Collection
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this type plate on duty....
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Confirmed ISP number
(1500-1999 number bloc reserved for ISP)
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this type plate on duty....
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Confirmed ISP number (1500-1999 number bloc as well as 4300 number bloc reserved for ISP)


Picture courtesy of
Sheriff Marty Talbert, Howard Cty IND


1967 issue- No reserved number blocs known.
Plate courtesy of the Robert Ward Collection
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this type plate on duty....
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1968 issue- No reserved number blocs known.
Plate courtesy of the Robert Ward Collection
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this type plate on duty....
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1969 issue- No reserved number blocs known.
Plate courtesy of the Robert Ward Collection
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this type plate on duty....
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1970 issue- No reserved number blocs known.
Plate courtesy of the Robert Ward Collection
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this type plate on duty....
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1972-1979 issue- (3100-3300 number bloc reserved for ISP- Some ISP photos of this era also reveal ISP cars with plates in the 4000-4300 series)


1979-2006- Despite being agency-specific plates, they still bear an assigned number bloc (2000-4999).

One of 25 samples made for state dignitaries when
these new plates were introduced in 1979

Courtesy of the Bob Bruce Collection

2006-2010
Flat base with no "Indiana Indentation"

2010-Present
Completely Flat base

Picture courtesy of Bill Ceravola
 

State-issued commemorative plate used on the front
of ISP patrol cars in 1966/67.


State-issued commemorative plate used on the front of ISP
patrol cars in 1966/67- This one with no embossed border.

Picture courtesy of "The Indiana Trooper"

Flat screened plastic booster plate to commemorate
the ISP's 50th Anniversary

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this type plate on duty....
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Late 1970's-early 1980's optional front plate/booster
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this type plate on duty....
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1980's screened thin aluminum optional front plate/booster
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this type plate on duty....
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1990's-2000's embossed thin aluminum optional front plate/booster

Current front plate
Picture courtesy of Robert Ward

Picture courtesy of Robert Ward

Current Issue 75th Anniversary plate
Plate courtesy of Robert Ward

Picture courtesy of Robert Ward

Apparently used by Tax and Excise Officers during the 1960's. Possibly a dash plate. 73 is the number and not the year. Information is sketchy, so clarification would be appreciated.
 

1960's-1970's- Dash plate used for parking ISP unmarked car.
 

1965 State Owned motorcycle
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this type plate on duty....
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1970's-1980 Indiana State Police Alliance Booster
 

1991- Indiana State Police Alliance Booster
 

1993- Indiana State Police Alliance Booster

1979-2006 issue- State Police Board Member plate.
The Indiana State Police Board administers, manages and
controls the operation of the agency including the setting of
salaries and compensation, with the approval of the governor
and may review disciplinary action taken against a state police
employee by the superintendent. The ISP Board is made-up of
six civilian members who are appointed by the governor and must be a permanent resident of one of six geographical regions of the
state from which they are appointed. Each member serves for a
term of four years and no more than three may belong to the same
political party. It is believed that this plate is issued as a
"keepsake" or front "booster" plate and not registered for use
as a substitution of a regular-issue license plate on an
ISP Board member's car.
Picture courtesy of Bill Ceravola
 

2002 special-issue passenger plate
for the Indiana State Police Memorial.
This example is embossed.

Picture courtesy of Bill Ceravola
 

2003 special-issue passenger plate
for the Indiana State Police Memorial.
This example is flat screened.
 

2009 State Police Memorial plate for private use.
 

Special-issue cycle plate
for the Indiana State Police Memorial.
This example is flat screened.

Picture courtesy of Vance Fulkerson