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gallery of police cars

The Maine State Highway Police was founded in July of 1921 with 34 new officers, known as Inspectors, working under the authority of the State Highway Commission.

In 1925, it was determined that there was a need to increase the size and scope of the State Highway Police, and by 1935, the force was then officially called the Maine State Police with Inspectors re- titled as "Troopers". The number of sworn officers reaches 100 that year.

In 1936, the first 47 patrol cars were purchased to replace most of the 46 Harley Davidson motorcycles and 25 sidecars that patrolled Maine highways and by-ways year-round. MSP patrol cars were black and Highway Safety cars were white.

In March of 1942, the MSP covered 6 Troop areas: Troop A (Wells) Troop B (West Scarborough) Troop C (Fairfield) Troop D (Thomaston) Troop E (Bangor) Troop F (Houlton) In 1955, Troop G is established to patrol the Maine Turnpike from Kittery to Augusta. This was also the first year that MSP license plates went from annual issues to a standard multi-year red character over silvery white background. The following year, roof lights were installed on patrol cars for the first time.

In 1965, MSP patrol car color went from black to medium blue. This was also the year that MSP license plates went from red over white to white over blue. Blue patrol cars with white roofs were experimented with from 1968 to 1972 when the MSP decided to go back to all blue cars. 1970 was the first year 4 door cars were put into service. The Maine Department of Public Safety was established in 1972 with the MSP falling under its direction.

Troop J covers Hancock and Washington counties, and Troop K is the Traffic Division located in Gardiner. Troop K is the largest troop and is home to the Inspection Section and Commercial Vehicle Enforcement. A Special Services Unit handles matters involving Canine, Aviation, Underwater Recovery Team and Executive Protection. Today, the MSP has in excess of 300 sworn officers who wear their uniform proudly.




License Plates of the Maine State Police

The Maine State Police has had a history of issuing distinctive license plates for their patrol vehicles from their earliest days.
As early as 1925, the newly-formed Maine State Highway Police had their own distinctive plates for their motorcycle fleet. No car plates have yet been discovered or recorded for the Maine State Highway Police. It is likely that in those earliest of days that only motorcycles were used on patrol.
Designs varied, but the known SHP motorcycle plates of that time were made of embossed steel and measured approximately 6 1/8" x 4 1/2". The colors matched the civilian motorcycle plates of each year. The letters S. H were embossed over POLICE over MAINE 19##.
Titled Maine State Police license plates for patrol cars may have began in 1935, however no surviving specimen or photograph of one can be found. The earliest such confirmed plate was issued in 1936. The plate was made of embossed steel and measured only 6 1/8" x 8 7/8", which was quite small for contemporary automobile license plates of the day.
It was painted black over orange and had the state name stacked along the left margin. The title STATE over POLICE occupied the top center of the plate over the assignment number with 1936 stacked along the right margin. It has been speculated and believed that the number reflected the badge number of the trooper assigned to the vehicle for these earlier issues, but this has not yet been confirmed.
Annual plates were issued from 1936 right on through to 1949.



Maine 1934 police car
  • Maine license plate image1936 issue. Embossed steel. 6 1/8" x 8 7/8".
    (Courtesy Tom Fiske)
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  • Maine license plate image1937 issue. Embossed steel. 6 1/8" x 8 7/8".
    (Courtesy Bill Ceravola)
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Maine license plate imageCrossing the Street- 1938. Courtesy Tom Fiske
  • Maine license plate image1938 issue. Embossed steel. 6 1/8" x 8 7/8".
    (Courtesy Rob Nichols)
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  • Maine license plate image1939 issue. Embossed steel. 6 1/8" x 8 7/8".
  • Maine license plate image

Maine license plate imageTaking Care of Business- 1939. Courtesy Tom Fiske

Maine license plate image1940 issue. Embossed steel. 6 1/8" x 8 7/8". Unconfirmed color scheme.
(Courtesy Tom Fiske)
  • Maine license plate image1942 issue. Embossed steel. 6 1/8" x 8 7/8".
    (THIS LICENSE PLATE IS A REMAKE IN A COLOR SCHEME THAT IS NOT CONFIRMED FOR 1942.)
  • Maine license plate image
  • Maine license plate image1945 issue. Embossed steel. 6 1/8" x 8 7/8".
    Black over medium blue.
  • Maine license plate image
  • Maine license plate image
  • Maine license plate image1946 issue. Embossed steel. 6 1/8" x 8 7/8".
    Black over medium blue.
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It is believed that the 1947 issue for the Maine State Police followed the same pattern and color format of black over medium blue embossed steel measuring 6 1/8" x 8 7/8".

  • Maine license plate image1948 issue. Embossed BRASS. 6 1/8" x 8 7/8".
    Black over medium blue.
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  • Maine license plate image1948 issue. Embossed Aluminum. 6 1/8" x 8 7/8".
    Black over medium blue.
    First year for aluminum plates for the MSP.
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Maine license plate image

In 1950, a multi-year permanent plate was issued. The plate measured the same as the earlier issues, but made of embossed aluminum and the year on the right margin had been dropped. The plate had black characters painted over a reflective deep blue background. This was done as an added safety measure for Maine State Troopers conducting duties on the side of roadways and highways in the state. The technology of reflective paint coatings was in its infancy at that time and used finely-crushed glass bead material to catch light and reflect it back to the eye. With a black over dark blue background, there was very little contrast to these plates, and although very visible and legible at night when struck by light, they were diffcult to read in daylight conditions. This plate was used continuously through 1955.

  • Maine license plate image1950-1955 issue in natural light.
    Extra mounting holes in lower corners
  • Maine license plate image1950-1955 issue in low light reflection
  •  Maine police car and officerCirca 1954- Courtesy Tom Fiske
  • Maine license plate image1950-1955 issue. MSP Colonel's plate.
    (Courtesy Rob Nichols and Steve McCausland-MSP Museum)
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In 1955, the black over blue plates were replaced by a 6" x 12" embossed aluminum plate, which became the standard size for all license plates issued in North America in 1956. The colors were red over reflective white made of Flex-O-Lite reflective material. The state name was situated at the top center of the plate. The letters S followed by a short dash, the letter P followed by another short dash was followed by the assignment number. These plates were used through 1959 as a full-titled MSP license plate during this time frame.

  • Maine license plate image1955-1959 issue. Red over reflective white Flex-O-Lite background. The S-P- prefix did not prove popular.

    (Courtesy Rob Nichols)
  • Maine police tank
  • Maine license plate image1955-1959 issue. MSP Colonel's plate.

    (Courtesy Rob Nichols and Steve McCausland-MSP Museum)
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Maine license plate image

Around early 1956 as the unpopular S-P- prefixed license plates were still being issued, the MSP also commissioned a fully-titled license plate made of the same material and colors. This version, however had STATE POLICE spelled-out in full large dies across the center span of the plate and the assignment number was embossed at the lower center of the plate using a small die. These plates were more well-received by Troopers despite the small assignment number.

  • Maine license plate image1956-1959 issue. Reflective red over reflective white.
    Extra mounting holes on bottom made after manufacture.
  • Maine license plate image
  • Maine 1955 police forcee1956- Courtesy Tom Fiske
  • Maine license plate image1956-1959 issue. MSP Colonel's plate.

    (Courtesy Rob Nichols and Steve McCausland-MSP Museum)
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  • Maine license plate image

It is believed that in 1960, another re-design of the Maine State Police license plate took place. These plates were made of embossed aluminum and the MSP continued to use the same red over reflective white color scheme. The state name still occupied the top center of the plate but with the title STATE POLICE stacked on the left center field of the plate followed by the assignment number to the right. The earlier versions of this plate used the same finish as the 1956-1959 issue which had a more silver-like reflective background, whereas later versions of this issue had a yellowish tinge. It is not known exactly when the background material changeover took place and it is difficult to determine from black and white photographs taken during that era.
Two sets of each type with the same number (54) are shown just below to show the difference in the background sheeting. These plates are stated to have been used right through the early 1970's.

Maine license plate image

Maine license plate image

  • Maine license plate imageCirca 1960-1970 issue.
    Earlier type with silver-like background sheeting.
    Flex-O-Lite coating.
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  • Maine license plate imageCirca 1960-1970 issue.
    Later type with yellowish tinge to background sheeting.
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  • Maine police car with sign1964 Irony - Courtesy Tom Fiske

  • image08e Same type of sign board seen above run on rear of MSP patrol vehicles in the 1960's.
  • Maine license plate image1960-1970 issue. MSP Colonel's plate.

    (Courtesy Rob Nichols and Steve McCausland-MSP Museum)
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  • Maine license plate image1969- Courtesy Tom Fiske
  • Maine license plate imageCirca 1960-1970 issue sample.
    Early type with brighter background sheeting.
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The official launch of the well-known "all-flat" white on blue Maine State Police plate is strangely completely unknown. Some say they began being mounted onto MSP patrol cars as early as 1967/68, and others say they didn't commence issuance until around 1970. It's still anyone's guess as to when this milestone began, but it set the tone and design for decades afterward. Photographic evidence thusfar shows it goes back to at least 1970.

The earliest versions of the "blue plates" saw them manufactured on completley flat aluminum blanks. The layout was simple: MAINE at the top center of the plate, the assignment number in the center and STATE POLICE along the bottom center. What made these earliest versions distinctive from those that followed was the use of an almost Art Deco style font for the lettering and very angular numerals.
By the mid 1970's, the font style was changed to a more fluid-looking font and continues to be used with slight variation to this day.

  • Maine license plate imageCirca 1970-1976 issue.
    First of the "all flat blue plates".
    Use of a more artistic font for lettering.
  • Maine police car1970. Courtesy Tom Fiske
  • Maine license plate image1970- Courtesy Tom Fiske.
  • Maine license plate imageCirca 1970-1976 issue. MSP Colonel's plate.

    (Courtesy Rob Nichols and Steve McCausland-MSP Museum)
  • Maine license plate image1972. Courtesy Tom Fiske
  • Maine license plate image1975- Courtesy Tom Fiske
  • Maine license plate imageCirca 1970-1976 issue.
    First of the "all flat blue plates" Lighter blue background. Sample number.
  • Maine license plate image

Maine license plate image

Maine license plate image1976- Courtesy Tom Fiske

By the mid 1970's MSP license plates continued with the all-flat reflective white over dark blue plates but went to a more utilitarian font for the characters and a larger, rounder font for the numerals.
The MSP license plate numbers issued from this time up until the Summer of 1994 were random and of no particular significance.

  • Maine license plate image1975-1994 issue. Colonel of the Maine State Police
  • Maine license plate image1975-1994 issue. Random number.
  • Maine license plate image
  • Maine license plate image1975 Special Services. Courtesy Tom Fiske

  • Maine license plate image

  • Maine license plate image
  • Maine license plate image

  • Maine police car image

On May 23 1994, Trooper David Preble of Troop E (Orono Barracks) crafted an Inter-departmental memo addressed to the Chief of the Maine State Police, Colonel Alfred R. Skolfield requesting that the Maine State Police consider changing the numbering of MSP license plate numbers from meaningless random numbers to the actual radio call number of the assigned Trooper.

Trooper Preble articulated that not only was this a pragmatic and effective way of identifying an MSP vehicle, but also a morale booster for the rank and file.
Colonel Skolfield responded in writing to Trooper Preble on May 31 1994 not only thanking him for his initative, but agreeing to implement his idea right away!
See Correspondence between Tpr Preble and Colonel Skolfield here.

Therefore, by Summer of 1994, all Maine State Police license plate numbers reflected the radio number of the Trooper or indicated the specialized unit assigned. Even today, when one sees a Maine State Police license plate number, that number signifies a Troop, a rank in some cases, a Section and geographical zones...it even reflects if you are a probationary trooper!

The Maine State Police consists of nine troops which use the following assignment numbers:

100 Series plates: Troop A (Alfred)
200 Series plates: Troop B (Gray)
300 Series plates: Troop C (Skowhegan)
400 Series plates: Troop D (Augusta)
500 Series plates: Troop E (Orono)
600 Series plates: Troop F (Houlton)
700 Series plates: Troop G (Maine Turnpike)
800 Series plates: Troop K (Commercial Vehicle Enforcement)
900 Series plates: Troop J (Ellsworth)



The second number on the license plate indicates a Section (Platoon) within a Troop. Each Troop has 3 Sections with the exception of Troop G (Turnpike) which has 4 (Section 4 is a midnight shift). The Sergeant in charge of the Section is assigned the number 0.
The third number is the geographical patrol zone the trooper is assigned to. This number does not exceed 8.
With manpower issues, this number can become irrelevant as these zones may have staggered deployment on occasion, especially given call-sharing agreements with County Sheriff Departments.

To explain the numbering more clearly, a Troop G (Turnpike) deployment can be explained thusly: Troopers assigned out of Section 1: The Section is lead by a Sergeant who is assigned 701. The Corporal is assigned 710. The "third number" becomes relevant with the assignment of the trooper at the southernost end of the "slot" in Kittery which would be Trooper 711 followed by 712 then 713 and 714 as the patrol area moves northward up the turnpike.
Section 2 would be lead by the Sergeant: 702 followed by the Corporal: 720 then 721, 722, 723 and 724.

In addition to these Troops, the MSP also has Special Units who are also given assignment designations on their license plates:

1000 Series plates are spare cruisers not assigned to a particular troop.
1100 Series plates are for Traffic Division (Inspection/Collision Reconstruction Unit)- Issued but rarely displayed.
1200 Series plates are Detectives (unmarked units) These plates are rarely displayed with the exception of the annual Colonel's Inspection.
2600 Series plates are issued to MSP Academy graduates during their 45 day Field Training period. This number is the probationary trooper's radio number as well as plate number. These plates are issued alphabetically. The recruit whose name is at the A or B end of the alphabet will receive number 2601 and so on down the roster.


Maine license plate image

  • Maine license plate image
  • Maine license plate image100 Series: Troop A (Alfred) Section 2 Zone 2
  • Maine license plate image
  • Maine license plate image200 Series: Troop B (Gray) Section 2 Zone 2
  • Maine license plate image
  • Maine license plate imageTroop C (Skowhegan) Section 1 Zone 3
  • Maine police car
  • Maine license plate image
  • Maine license plate image 400 Series: Troop D (Augusta) Section 1 Zone 5
  • Maine police car and officer
  • Maine license plate image
  • Maine license plate image 500 Series: Troop D (Orono) Section 3 Zone 5
  • Maine license plate image
  • Maine license plate imageTroop D (Orono) Corporal for Section 1
    (Courtesy Rob Nichols)
  • Maine police car
  • Maine license plate image
  • Maine license plate image600 Series: Troop F (Houlton) Section 3 Zone 1

    (Courtesy Rob Nichols)
  • Maine license plate image
  • Maine license plate image700 Series: Troop G (Maine Turnpike) Section 4 Zone 2
  • Maine license plate image
  • Maine license plate image800 Series: Troop K (Commercial Vehicle Enforcement) Section 2 Zone 1
  • Maine license plate image
  • Maine license plate image
  • Maine license plate image 900 Series: Troop J ( Ellsworth) Section 2 Zone 1

    (Courtesy Rob Nichols)
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  • Maine license plate image1000 Series: Spare Cruiser.

    (Courtesy Rob Nichols)
  • Maine license plate imageUnassigned Car 52
  • Maine license plate image
  • Around 2012, the font used for MAINE and STATE POLICE on MSP license plates was changed. The difference in style is quite subtle but can be seen in the variances on this page.

  • Maine license plate image1100 Series: Traffic Division (Inspection/Collision Reconstruction) issue. First in the series.

    (Courtesy Rob Nichols)
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  • Maine police plate1200 Series: Detective issue. Issued but rarely displayed.

    (Courtesy Rob Nichols)
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  • Maine police plate2600 Series: Probationary Trooper/Academy Graduate- Radio Call Sign. Last two digits indicate alphabetical ranking.
    This number was issued to Trooper Michael R. Veilleux (seen right) who was killed on duty in a motor vehicle collision in Dayton ME with only one month on the road. MSP will never re-issue number 2631 in his honor. (Courtesy Rob Nichols)
  • Maine license plate imageTpr. Michael R. Veilleux (2631)~Age 24~ End of Watch:June 17, 1986 Officer Down Memorial Page
  • Maine license plate imageTrooper of the Year issue for 1993.
    Awarded annually to the MSP's most exemplary Trooper.
    This award went to Trooper Jean (John) Poirier.
    This plate was authorized to be run on Trooper Poirier's patrol vehicle throughout 1994.
    Photo of Trooper Poirier at right courtesy of Tom Fiske.
  • Maine license plate image




Maine State Police Special Units

Some vehicles in the MSP fleet assigned to specialized duties have specific prefixes to indicate their given specialty. These plates are the same manufacture as their contemporary Troop plates.

  • Maine license plate imageBreath Alcohol Testing- Vehicle 2
  • Maine license plate imageThe BAT Van- Circa 1988
  • Maine license plate imageLAB Prefix for Crime lab on Mobile Command Unit
  • Maine license plate imageLAB Prefix for Crime lab on Mobile Command Unit
  • Maine license plate imageCrisis Negotiation Team

    (Courtesy Rob Nichols)
  • Maine license plate image(Courtesy Tom Fiske)
  • Maine license plate imageCommand Post- Mobile Command Unit

    (Courtesy Rob Nichols)
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  • Maine license plate imageNew version for Mobile Command Unit

    (Courtesy Rob Nichols)
  • Maine license plate image
  • Maine license plate imageSearch and Rescue Vehicle

    (Courtesy Rob Nichols)
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  • Maine license plate imageEmergency Vehicle Operators Course (Driving School!)

    (Courtesy Rob Nichols)
  • Maine license plate image
  • Maine license plate imagePrecision Immobilization Technique training car

    (Courtesy Rob Nichols)
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Maine police car

Maine police car

In preparation for the MSP's 90th Anniversary, the Maine State Troopers Association made arrangements with 3M to have these attractive commemorative license plates seen below manufactured. MSP Troopers had the option of purchasing them for $20 a pair and were permitted to retain them when the anniversary was completed and the return to regular MSP plates to their patrol vehicles was mandated.

  • Maine license plate image2011 issue. 90th Anniversary Number 1
  • Maine license plate image(Courtesy Doug Cropper)
  • Maine license plate imagePrototype Number 1 license plate with color scheme similar to that of the National Troopers Coalition souvenir plates made for the 2002 event.

    (Courtesy Rob Nichols)
  • Maine license plate imagePrototype Number 1 90th Anniversary K-9 issue.

    (Courtesy Rob Nichols)
  • Maine license plate imagePrototype Number 1 90th Anniversary Tactical Team issue.

    (Courtesy Rob Nichols)
  • Maine police plate imagePrototype Number 1 90th Anniversary Underwater Recovery Team issue.

    (Courtesy Rob Nichols)

In late 2012, MSP Sergeant and Trooper's Association President Mike Edes had an idea to showcase the cause for breast cancer awareness as a special license plate that would be run on all MSP marked vehicles for the month of October 2013 which is breast cancer awareness month.

Sgt Edes Maine policeSgt Edes was able to get Colonel Robert A. Williams on board for the idea, and on October 1 2013, the first Maine State Police "Pink Ribbon" license plate was affixed to a marked MSP patrol car.
The best way to provide the background to this groundbreaking effort, is to have Sgt Edes (now retired) explain it in his own words:

"In the fall of 2012, a long time dispatcher and close friend of mine who works with the Maine State Police, was diagnosed with breast cancer. As she began her treatments, it got me thinking about the number of people that I knew, who had been affected directly, or indirectly by breast cancer. It struck me that I literally knew dozens of people, whose lives had been affected by this disease. The wife of a trooper I worked with, along with a close high school classmate of mine, both had gone through long and trying treatments for breast cancer, including double mastectomies. I thought to myself that while the first thing you say to a person who is ill and facing a terrible disease such as breast cancer is: "let me know if there is anything I can do ", that you don't usually end up helping and they end up fighting this thing alone or with just a small circle of friends or family. I knew I wanted to get involved, to help and I wanted to make a difference. So I started reading up about breast cancer, it's diagnosis and it's treatment.

The one thing I found consistently in my research is that all the experts stressed that early detection was the key factor in successful diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. From there, the idea of bringing about awareness of early detection was the theme that I was going to run with. Having travelled extensively across the country through my position as President of the Maine State Trooper's Association and as Chairman of the National Trooper's Coalition, I had seen past examples of health and safety awareness issues on the sides of patrol cars or on license plates. Having experience creating novelty license plates in the past for conferences, association members etc, I knew that creating a breast cancer plate was the idea of what I wanted to run with. Thus, I created the Maine State Police Breast Cancer Awareness plate.

In the spring of 2013, I approached Colonel Bob Williams and Lt. Colonel Ray Bessette of the Maine State Police with the concept of a breast cancer awareness plate to be displayed on the cruisers of the Maine State Police for the month of October (Breast Cancer Awareness month). To their credit, they both immediately bought into the idea and let me run with it. It was agreed that the final design of the plate was at the approval of the State Police Administration and that publicly, we would have to say that this project was being headed up by the Maine State Trooper's Association. We did this for a reason and that being, because no good deed goes unpunished. We knew and expected that somebody(s), would complain about public funds being spent and why wasn't their particular medical or social cause taken in consideration. Sure enough, we did in fact receive a few complaints, but those were relatively few and far between.

The license plates were manufactured by 3M and were made of silkscreened aluminum with a step border.

MAINE STATE POLICE was silkscreened in blue between the upper mounting holes of the plate and "early detection saves lives silkcreened in blue between the lower mounting holes.

A silhouette of the state of Maine was silkscreened in dark pink on the left center portion of the plate with a light pink ribbon superimposed thereon. The unit number was silkscreened in pink in the center field of the plate. The emblem of the Maine State Police was silkscreened in pink on the right center portion of the plate.The numbers were not assigned by Troop and the numbers were issued randomly.

Maine cancer awareness police plate400 sets of Breast Cancer Awareness plates were created, along with a Certificate of Authenticity signed by both the Colonel and the Association President. The plates were displayed on all Maine State Police cruisers during the month of October of 2013. At the end of month, the plates were removed and each MSP trooper was allowed to keep one of the plates for themselves. The trooper then had the choice of either buying the 2nd plate for $20 or turning it back into the Association for public auction. Most of the troopers decided on turning the 2nd plate in for auction and raising money for breast cancer research. Each trooper signed the back of the plate, wrote down their name, academy class number, date of hire and rank. Some of the specialty trooper, such as the K9 officers, even went as far putting their dogs paw prints on the plates as well. The plates were eventually and individually auctioned off on Ebay. Through the sale of the plates to individual troopers or through the Ebay auction, we were able to raise well over $50,000 for The Maine Cancer Center.

Besides the proceeds from the sales, we were able to raise public awareness of early detection, received great PR for the State Police and in many ways, it brought us closer to the public we serve."~Sgt Michael Edes (Ret)

This was the first time a cancer awareness license plate was ever run by a State Police or Highway Patrol agency in the United States. Congratulations to Sgt Edes and Colonel Williams for being trailblazers for this type of initiative!



Maine police officer changing license plate on police car Trooper Samuel Tlumac of Troop C having removed his assigned number 311 license plate and replacing with the first Pink Ribbon license plate for the media kick-off number 127.
  • Maine cancer awareness police plateOctober 2013 Pink Ribbon issue.
    Pink and blue over reflective white.
    Plate number 127 as seen for media kick-off event.
  • Maine license plate image

Maine police commemorative license plate Maine State Police license plate number 127 from the media kick-off was presented to Norm Ratcliffe by the Maine Cancer Foundation at the conclusion of the pink ribbon license plate auction for assistance rendered in the logistics and promotion of the event.

In 1992, Merrill Worcester, owner of Worcester Wreath Company of Harrington, ME. had a surplus of Christmas wreaths. Remembering a boyhood trip he made at 12 to visit Arlington National Cemetery, he made arrangements with the help of Maine Senator Olympia Snow to place wreaths in an older section of Arlington Cemetery.

The annual tribute continued for several years, including a special ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, until 2005, when a photo of Arlington in the snow with wreaths on the headstones received national attention. Thousands of requests poured in from all the country from people wanting to help with the Arlington project or emulate the project in their area.
In 2007, Wreaths Across America, a non-profit 501(c)3 Corporation, was formed to continue and expand the wreath effort.

The mission of Wreaths Across America, Remember, Honor, Teach, is carried out in part by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies on a specified Saturday in December in Arlington, as well as at veterans’ cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states, ceremonies at sea and at 24 national cemeteries on foreign soil. in 2014, 69 trucks delivered 230,000 wreaths, placed by over 40,000 volunteers.

The Maine State Troopers Foundation is a sponsor and supporter of Wreaths Across America and attends the function. The Maine State Police assists in the escort from Maine to Arlington by the Patriot Guard Riders for the trucks carrying the wreaths, and also participate in the ceremony.
During this mission in 2015, all Maine State Police vehicles bore special WREATHS ACROSS AMERICA license plates for the duration of the convoys.
The plates were privately made and constructed of thin aluminum and colored and formatted similar to regular Maine State Police license plates. Mounting holes were long slots as opposed to smaller and round mounting holes on regular MSP plates. The emblem of WREATHS ACROSS AMERICA occupies the left center field of the plate and the emblem of the MSP occupies the center right filed of the plate. The assignment number occupies the center field of the plate in white. REMEMBER HONOR TEACH is spelled-out in white below STATE POLICE at the bottom center of the plate.

  • Maine license plate image2015 Wreaths Across America issue. Silkscreened aluminum.

    (Courtesy Rob Nichols)
  • Maine police plate imageCourtesy Andy Foss

Maine police carWreaths Across America number 1 and 2. Courtesy Rob Nichols

Maine governor and first lady license plate Wreaths Across America for Governor Paul LePage and First Lady Ann LePage- Courtesy Rob Nichols

\Maine governor and first lady license plateAutographs of Governor and First Lady on reverse side- Courtesy Rob Nichols

Maine license plate imagePresentation of 2015 MSP Wreaths Across America license plate to First Lady Ann LePage by Colonel Robert Willams
  • Maine license plate image2015 Wreaths Across America souvenir issue.
  • Maine police plate image2015 Wreaths Across America plate of Sgt Doug Cropper

On April 10, 2012, United States Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills of the 82nd Airborne was critically injured on his third tour of duty in Afghanistan by an IED (improvised explosive device) while on patrol, losing portions of both legs and both arms. He is one of only five quadruple amputees from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to survive his injuries. Thanks to his amazing strength, courage, an incredible will to live, the heroic actions of the men in his unit, the prayers of thousands, and all the healthcare providers at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, near Washington D.C., Travis remains on the road to recovery. Every day is a battle, but Travis continues to astound friends and family alike with his progress and with his amazing spirit. SSG Travis Mills is a genuine American hero, and for his incredible sacrifice, we are forever in his debt.
In September 2013, Travis founded the Travis Mills Foundation, a nonprofit organization, formed to benefit and assist combat-injured veterans. The Foundation purchased a historic lodge in Rome Maine to renovate it for a fully-accessible retreat for combat injured veterans and their families.
The Maine State Police and Maine State Troopers Association decided to bring attention to the cause of this state and national hero by displaying distinctive graphic license plates on their marked vehicles in July of 2016. The plates are of the same manufacture as the Wreaths Across America license plates. These plates differ by having the Travis Mills Foundation emblem on the left center field of the plate and Mills' slogan "Never give up. Never Quit" below STATE POLICE at the bottom center of the plate.

Maine license plate imageUS Army Staff Sgt Travis Mills with Governor and First Lady LePage for launch of Maine State Police license plates in his honor.
  • Maine license plate imageJuly 2016 Travis Mills Foundation issue.
    Silkscreened thin aluminum.
    Run on all marked MSP vehicles for the month of July 2016 to bring attention to the Travis Mills Foundation for combat-injured veterans.
    (Courtesy Rob Nichols)
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Maine license plate image


Motorcycle License Plates of the Maine State Police

Motorcycles were a principal mode of motor patrol in the earliest years of the MSP and its predecessor, the Maine State Highway Police.
The earliest known motorcycle license plate for this agency was from 1929. The plate measured roughly 6 1/4" x 4 1/4" and was made of embossed steel. The plate had white characters over an indigo background. The top of the plate had the letters S-H over the word POLICE over a number up to three digits over MAINE 1929.
The plates were run on the front and rear of the motorcycle as were all subsequent issues.
A 1933 version of the same plate was also issued in the same format and color scheme as the 1929 version.
It is believed that the State Highway Police motorcycle plates were last used in 1934.


Maine police motorcycle 1928
1928 (Courtesy Tom Fiske)

Maine license plate image
1929 Maine State Highway Police Officer William Gibson (Courtesy Tom Fiske)
  • Maine license plate image1929 State Highway Police motorcycle issue.
    Embossed steel. (Courtesy of Rob Nichols and Steve McCausland- MSP Museum)
  • Maine license plate image1929 motorcycle side car issue. Embossed steel.
    (Courtesy of Rob Nichols and Steve McCausland- MSP Museum)
  • Maine license plate image 1933 State Highway Police motorcycle issue. Embossed steel.
    (Courtesy Tom Fiske)

  • Maine license plate image (Courtesy of Rob Nichols and Steve McCausland- MSP)
  • Maine license plate image Maine State Highway Police Officer Roger Doyle (1934). Courtesy Tom Fiske

The 1936 photograph of Patrolman Rex St. Ledger seen below, shows him astride his Harley-Davidson motorcycle number 51. The front license plate can be seen affixed below the headlamp and appears to measure the same as its State Highway Police predecessor (6 1/4" x 4 1/4"). It also appears to be white over black with STATE over POLICE over 51 over MAINE 1936.
As there are so few surviving specimens of Maine State Police motorcycle license plates, it can only be assumed they were issued annually in colors that differentiated from their automobile counterparts.
It is also believed that the MSP phased-out the motorcycle from its fleet around 1941. Any further information in this regard would be appreciated.



Maine license plate image

Maine license plate image1938. Tpr Dominique LaChance on his 1934 Harley Davidson VLD.
(Courtesy Tom Fiske)
  • Maine license plate image(Courtesy of Rob Nichols and Steve McCausland- MSP).
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  • Maine license plate image1948 issue MSP motorcycle on restored MSP motor.
  • Maine license plate imageblablabla



More Special Issues

There are other special types of license plates issued that are not Maine State Police issue plates per se, but are tied-in to the agency via more informal means such as souvenir type plates issued for Conferences and the like.
One such plate that begs to be featured is the one seen below: the Maine LIQUOR ENFORCEMENT. These special reflective white over green license plates are used by State Police/Department of Public Safety personnel assigned to the Liquor Licensing and Compliance Division. The responsibility of this division is to license the manufacture, importation, storage, transportation and sale of all liquor and administer those laws relating to licensing and the collection of taxes on malt liquor and wine. The division can adopt rules consistent with Title 28A and other laws of the State for the administration, clarification, execution and enforcement of all laws concerning liquor and to prevent violations of those laws. They review applications for liquor licenses and are responsible for issuing and renewing liquor licenses. Division representatives inspect licensed establishments for compliance prior to the issuance of a license.

  • Maine license plate imageLiquor Licensing and Compliance Division of Maine State Police/Department of Public Safety, whose mandate is explained in the paragraph above.
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  • Maine license plate imageNational Troopers Coalition souvenir plate 1993
  • Maine license plate imageNational Troopers Coalition souvenir plate unknown date- Smaller dies for TROOPER and no decals
  • Maine license plate imageNational Troopers Coalition souvenir plate-2002-
    Type One with TROOPER
  • Maine license plate imageNational Troopers Coalition souvenir plate-2002-
    Type Two with NTC 2002.

    (Courtesy Rob Nichols)
  • Maine license plate imageRegular issue vanity/personalized plate.
  • Maine license plate imageGraphic Prototype. Year unknown.
    Silkscreened aluminum with step border.
  • Maine license plate image1983 National Governor's Association Meeting in Portland.
    Silkscreened aluminum.
    Used on MSP escort vehicles.
    This one for Governor Thomas Kean of New Jersey.
  • Maine license plate image


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