1120th Transportation Battalion

Voting License Plate Contest!

Digital License Plate Design Guidelines

The primary purpose of a license plate is to allow for quick identification of motor vehicle and vehicle registration information. Therefore a license plate design that optimizes legibility to both the human eye and license plate readers takes priority over esthetics or organizational causes.    As License Plate Reader (LPR) tools become more widely used in the law enforcement community we must ensure the plate is readable in these environments.  A design that adversely interferes with law enforcement's ability to read the plate will not be approved.  It's important to understand that the plate design specifications are fluid based on changes with sheeting, reflectivity and design interference.  ADOT will work with the organization to manufacture the best plate possible using their preferred design, but reserves the right to make adjustments to ensure the plate serves its primary purpose of law enforcement readability prior to approval. The contest will end on June 10, 2024 

License Plate Dimensions - 12” X 6”    Artwork Dimensions - 11.73” X 5.97”

License Plate temp









Template Specifications & Guideline Tips

  1. “ARIZONA” Must be in “San Serif” font and be a minimum of .75” in height and up to 6’’ long
    • ARIZONA must be legible in light and dark conditions and should provide a high contrast between it and the plate background color/image.
  2. YEAR - Artwork is permitted within this area; however it will be covered by a registration decal
  3. Alpha/Numeric Area (000000) - A 9.5” X 3” area containing alpha/numeric text will be centered
    • Alpha/Numeric text shall not be less than six characters in length.
    • Alpha/Numeric text must be legible in light and dark conditions and should provide a high contrast between it and the plate background color/image. Unless otherwise specified, we will use a color that can be viewed best from a distance. Usually dark plate backgrounds are assigned a white alpha/numeric plate text, and lighter plate backgrounds a black text, though there are other variations that can be discussed.
  4. Plate Graphic/Logo - The area for the Plate Graphic/Logo is measured at 2.75’’ X 2.75”.
    • The distance between the Plate Graphic/Logo and the Alpha/Numeric Area must be > 0.25. 
    • Plate Graphic/Logos cannot be placed to the right of, or aligned with the Alpha/Numeric text. 
    • Plate Graphic/Logos cannot be a solid alpha/numeric or be aligned with the Alpha/Numeric Area; as it could be mistaken for the actual plate sequencing when processed using LPR.
    • Plate Graphic/Logos centered and to the left of the Alpha/Numeric Area will only allow 6 Alpha/Numeric text (as displayed in the template above).
    • Artwork can fill the entire 11.73” X 5.97” area; which will allow 7 Alpha/Numeric text and be centered when personalized but must provide a solid color or gradient background so that the Alpha/Numeric text stands out and is easy to read.   
    • Intersecting lines or designs in the plate background behind the Alpha/Numeric text is prohibited; as it could potentially interfere with the legibility and readability of the Alpha/Numeric text.
    • The placement of watermarks in the plate background is prohibited.
    • URL’s are prohibited.
    • Remember your Medium: Think simple bold graphics or images. All license plates are printed on reflective sheeting that is covered with tiny glass reflective beads. This means that too many colors will make it hard to see.
    • Avoid Thin Lines: Minimum line thickness is 1/32” or 0.031”.
    • Size and Proximity: License plates are small canvases viewed from a distance. Consider what can be seen from 10 feet away. Intricate details may be lost.
    • Process Not Pantone: All designs should be set up in CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black) process colors. This will be a digital print on a reflective surface.
    • Be Cautious of Tint: The method used in printing license plates may cause tints over 75% to fill in, and tints under 5% to not appear.
    • Be Cautious of too much Saturation: Due to excessive heat generated when printing designs with large color fill areas, the design should have a limited amount of color saturation.
  5. Lower Legend - This area may be used to place a special catch phrase.  The messaging distance from the Alpha/Numeric Area must be > 0.25. It is not a requirement to utilize this space with a phrase. 
  6. Bolt Holes - Keep in mind, bolt holes will be punched out when the plate goes into production. They measure approximately .3125’’ in diameter. The center measures .3312’’ from top to bottom of the plate, and 2.2631’’ from the left or right edge of the plate.

Preferable File Formats: 

  • ADOT prefers vector based artwork (Adobe Illustrator). Order of preference: ai, psd, jpeg
  • If a layout is designed in Photoshop, please provide a layered Photoshop document (.psd) 
  • All digital images (photos, scans, etc.) must be at least 300 DPI at actual size
  • Outline all fonts, or include them with artwork