Iowa State Patrol

In 1933, 15 Motor Vehicle Inspectors were hired to patrol Iowa's highways as speeds by motor vehicles increased with the proliferation of paved roadways as did the death and injury rate.

In 1935, the Iowa Highway Safety Patrol was formed with 50 new officers. 37 cars and 12 motorcycles commenced the official patrol duties for the new force. Cars were Ford V-8's, Chevrolets and some Pontiacs, while the motorcycles were Indian Model 74's.

The state was divided into 10 patrol districts and 1942 saw patrol motorcycles phased-out. In 1946, two more patrol districts were added to bring the total to 14. In 1952, officers began painting the number of current Iowa traffic fatalities onto the trunks of their patrol cars.

In 1957, the number of patrol officers increased to 275 and that number increased to 410 ten years later. In 1975, the agency became known as the Iowa State Patrol, and officers became known as "Troopers".

It was 3 years prior that Area Headquarters were changed to "divisions" and districts were renamed "Posts". In 1979, the Patrol put into service two Kawasaki 1000 motorcycles. One was involved in a traffic collision just 4 days into the program. The patrol celebrated it's 50th Anniversary in 1985.

Iowa State Flag

Having three vertical stripes blue, white and red the
Iowa flag resembles the flag of France.
On the white stripe is a bald eagle carrying a blue streamer
in its beak. T he state motto " Our Liberties We Prize, and Our Rights
We will Maintain" is written on the streamer.
The name of the state is emblazoned in red letters.

1936 issue "Official" base
This plate originally belonged to
Colonel Ted Mikesch of the Iowa State Patrol
Plate courtesy of the Carlton Stallings Collection
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1941 issue
OFF stacked vertically followed by a star
followed by number over Iowa over Patrol followed
by year stacked vertically

Picture courtesy of the Iowa State Patrol

1942 issue
OFF stacked vertically followed by
number over Iowa over Patrol followed
by year stacked vertically

Picture courtesy of the Iowa State Patrol
 

Unknown year issue
number over Iowa over Patrol.
All center justified
, plate appears to not
have any star emblems affixed

Picture courtesy of the Iowa State Patrol
 

Circa 1946 to late 1950's issue- (Approx. 5.5" x 12.5") Has early experimental reflective sheeting that was manufactured with perforations. Over time and through the elements, the perforations bled-through to the surface of the plate. RARE

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Late 1940's-1950's issue- (Approx. 5.5" x12.5") Improved reflective sheeting. Level red stars (Rear Plate)
Courtesy of the John Yeaw Collection

Photo Courtesy of Monty McCord

Late 1940's-1950's issue- (Approx. 5.5" x12.5")
Improved reflective sheeting.
Level blue stars which appear to have faded to grey
(Front Plate)

Picture courtesy of Bill Ceravola
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Circa 1946 to late 1950's issue (Approx. 5.5"x12.5") Has improved solid reflective sheeting. Blue stars indicate this was a front plate. Tilted stars.

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Circa 1956 to early 1960's issue (Approx. 5.5"x12.5") This version had reflective sheeting placed over an older painted version. Battle scars on this particularly "seasoned" plate brought about this fact. Also, this front plate has
level blue stars.
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Circa 1960's-1975 issue- SAMPLE plate. Unsure if this issue
with state name and HIGHWAY PATROL embossed came
BEFORE or AFTER screened version as plate # 319 featured
below. Any information that can clarify would be appreciated.

Circa 1960's-1975 issue- Rear plate. Has small etched number 2 in top left corner. These plates were issued to the IHP in triplicate with etched numbers 1 through 3; one for the front, one for the rear and one spare.

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Circa 1960's- Used by Auxiliary (Reserve) Highway Patrol vehicles. Rear plate.
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Circa 1960's- Used by Auxiliary (Reserve) Highway Patrol vehicles. Blue stars indicate this was a front plate.
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1975-1980's issue- Dark yellow/orange background with applied stars (not screened). Has small etched number 2 in bottom right corner. These plates were issued to the IHP in triplicate with etched numbers 1 through 3; one for the front, one for the rear and one spare. This version began the trend to have red stars on both front and rear plates.
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1975-1980 issue with taller/thinner dies and screened stars.
Top trimmed off on this one.

Courtesy of the Bob Bruce Collection
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Early 1980's issue using tall embossed dies on a dark yellow-orange background with step border. Screened stars
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Mid-1980's-1990's issue- STATE PATROL embossed. This one was dated 1988 on the back.


Late 1990's issue in bright reflective yellow with screened
stars and debossed sticker navel in top right corner.
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1990-Current issue- All silkscreened except for
embossed numbers.

Current 75th Anniversary issue
Note the tamperproof screws!

Picture courtesy of Damir Krdzalic


National Troopers Coalition Plate

Picture courtesy of Bill Ceravola
 

Motorcycle Plate - 1938 issue
#30 is a confirmed Iowa Patrol issued cycle plate
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Motorcycle Plate
- 1941 issue
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this type plate on duty....
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