Alabama Highway Patrol

In 1919 Alabama State Law Enforcement Agents were appointed by the state legislature, but it is not certain if their mandate extended to traffic law enforcement.

In 1927, the Alabama State Highway Commission appointed Deputy Police Officers to conduct enforcement on Alabama's highways, but could only address and enforce matters of traffic law. Inspectors, known as Alabama Highway Officers acting under the authority of the Alabama Public Service Commission were appointed in 1931.

The Alabama Highway Patrol was formed in 1935, comprised primarily of the Alabama Highway Officers from the PSC and full police powers were granted. The Alabama Highway Patrol came under the umbrella of the Alabama Department of Public Safety in 1939, and in 1963 the Patrol was renamed the Alabama State Troopers.

The Alabama Department of Public Safety of today comprises of six divisions: Administration, Bureau of Investigation, Driver Licensing, Highway Patrol, Protective Services and Service.

State Flag

Crimson St. Andrew's cross on a white field, patterned after the Confederate Battle Flag, and adopted in 1895. The bars forming the cross must not be less than six inches broad and must extend diagonally across the flag from side to side.

ALABAMA DPS/HIGHWAY PATROL LICENSE PLATES

Although Alabama State Vehicle license plates ("tags" as they are called down there) have been issued as early as 1929,1942 is the earliest record of any kind of distinctive license plate usage for the Alabama Highway Patrol based on photographic evidence. S-prefixed State Vehicle plates were used on Alabama DPS/Highway Patrol vehicles from 1942 until the current 1990's issue. These S plates followed the same issuance colors and formats as regular Alabama passenger plates for each year of issuance. Most of the S plates issued to Alabama DPS/Highway Patrol vehicles were lower numbered (up to 3 numbers). Up until 1970, Alabama S plates were issued for both front and back of the vehicle. A variety of different "booster" plates have been used on the front of Alabama State Trooper vehicles since 1970.

I am actively searching for any plates or old photographs showing any of the specimens this website is missing, so PLEASE drop me a line if you can help.


Type used by Alabama DPS Troopers ~ 1951 base
Picture source: e-Bay
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this type plate on duty....
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Type used by Alabama DPS Troopers ~ 1959 base

Picture courtesy of the Alabama Highway Patrol
 

Alabama Highway Patrol-Confirmed Number


Type used by Alabama DPS Troopers

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this type plate on duty....
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Type used by Alabama DPS Troopers ~ 1970 base
Plate courtesy of the Robert Ward Collection
We are looking for a picture showing
this type plate on duty....
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Type used by Alabama DPS Troopers ~ 1971 base
Plate courtesy of the Robert Ward Collection

Click picture for a larger image

Type used by Alabama DPS Troopers ~ 1973 base
Plate courtesy of the John Yeaw Collection
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this type plate on duty....
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Circa 1975 lighter grey background
with dash separator
Picture courtesy of the Alabama Highway Patrol

Circa 1979/80 darker grey background
no dash separator

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this type plate on duty....
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Circa 1981/82 graphic issue.


1983-1990's issue- Generic state vehicle plate but with numbers commencing in the 14000 bloc.

Plate courtesy of the Robert Ward Collection

Picture courtesy of Robert Ward

1990's-Current Issue


Picture courtesy of Jay Weinstein

VERIFIED ALABAMA DPS MOTORCYCLE ISSUES
Alabama S-Prefixed (State) motorcycle plates are verified as far back as 1936. The earliest photographic evidence of an S-prefixed motorcycle plate used on an AHP cycle, is 1960, but it can be surmised they were used much earlier. Motorcycle plates in Alabama mirrored the colors used on passenger cars of the day. 1960 to 1967 plates measured 6"x6" and were fully embossed. The plates had an "S" at the top center of the plate (where regular motorcycles had an "M") over a number up to 3 digits over ALA and the last 2 digits of the year. From 1968 until now, the plates measure 7"x4".

Coop is actively searching for any motorcycle plates or old photographs showing any of the specimens this website is missing, so PLEASE drop him a line if you can help.

Motorcycle Plate

1970 State motorcycle base


Picture courtesy of Mike Auldridge
We are looking for a picture showing
this type plate on duty....
Can you help us?

Motorcycle Plate
1972 State motorcycle base

(Quality control at the prison plate
shop was a little loose that year!)
We are looking for a picture showing
this type plate on duty....
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Motorcycle Plate
1974 State motorcycle base
We are looking for a picture showing
this type plate on duty....
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Motorcycle Plate
Late 70's-early 80's base cycle plate
made specifically for the
Alabama Highway Patrol.
DPS = Department of Public Safety
We are looking for a picture showing
this type plate on duty....
Can you help us?

Current issue State Motorcycle

Photo courtesy of Tommy Giles
Alabama Dept. of Public Safety

If you can help Coop get one of
these, please e-mail him.

Photo courtesy of Tommy Giles
Alabama Dept. of Public Safety

Current Association Booster


Picture courtesy of Jay Weinstein


National Troopers Coalition Plate

Plate courtesy of Robert Ward