What Does Hawaii’s License Plate Look Like?

Hawaii’s license plate is a unique and iconic symbol of the state’s identity. With its distinctive design and colors, it stands out from other state license plates across the United States. 

In this article, we will delve into the details of Hawaii’s license plate, exploring its design, history, and significance.

Design and Colors

Hawaii’s license plate is an eye-catching yet understated design that honors the state’s rich cultural legacy and scenic surroundings. The sky and seas that encircle the islands are represented by the blue border around the white background of the plate. 

Hawaii’s official state flower, the hibiscus, is depicted in stylised form in the center of the plate. The state’s rich cultural legacy and tropical environment are represented by the hibiscus.

Hibiscus Flower Design

Hawaii’s license plate features a stylized image of a hibiscus flower with five petals and a prominent center. The design reflects the state’s emphasis on beauty and simplicity, showcasing both exquisite and basic elements.

Another important emblem in Hawaiian culture is the hibiscus flower, which stands for beauty, love, and the union of the material and spiritual realms. Have you ever wondered, though, what can cops see from a license plate?

History of the License Plate

History of the License Plate

Hawaii’s license plate has a long and illustrious history that begins in the early 1900s. After Hawaii became a U.S. territory in 1903, it issued the first license plates not long after. These early plates were straightforward with no standout patterns or symbols. 

The license plate’s design has changed over time to better represent the state’s expanding identity and rich cultural legacy.

Evolution of the Design

In 1931, Hawaii introduced its first distinctive license plate design, featuring a stylized image of a hibiscus flower. The state’s tropical climate and its rich cultural heritage influenced the choice of this design.

The current design, introduced in 1991, has undergone several changes over the years. The current design features a stylized hibiscus flower with a blue border and a white background, which has become an iconic symbol of the state.

Specialty License Plates

In addition to the standard license plate, Hawaii offers several specialty license plates that reflect the state’s unique culture and heritage. Should I Blur My License Plate?

These specialty plates are available for purchase by residents and visitors alike, and they often feature unique designs and symbols that reflect the state’s natural beauty and cultural heritage.

Specialty Plate Designs

Specialty Plate Designs

Some examples of specialty license plates available in Hawaii include:

Hawaiian Language Plate: This plate features the Hawaiian language and is a popular choice among residents who want to show their pride in their cultural heritage.

Hibiscus Plate: This plate features a stylized image of the hibiscus flower and is a popular choice among visitors who want to take a piece of Hawaii’s beauty back home.

Volcano Plate: This plate features an image of a volcano and is a popular choice among residents who want to show their pride in Hawaii’s unique geological features.

License Plate Designs

DesignDescriptionYear Introduced
Standard PlateWhite background with blue border and stylized hibiscus flower1991
Hawaiian Language PlateFeatures the Hawaiian language2001
Hibiscus PlateFeatures a stylized image of the hibiscus flower2003
Volcano PlateFeatures an image of a volcano2005
Aloha PlateFeatures a stylized image of the word ‘Aloha’2010


What is the significance of the hibiscus flower on Hawaii’s license plate?

The hibiscus flower symbolizes the state’s tropical climate and rich cultural heritage.

When did Hawaii transition to the modern way of releasing new license plate designs?

Hawaii transitioned to modern license plate designs in 1953.

What was the slogan stamped on Hawaii license plates from 1957 to 1960?

During this period, officials stamped the slogan ‘ALOHA’ on Hawaii license plates.


The distinctive and well-known license plate of Hawaii represents the state’s identity. It distinguishes itself from other state license plates across the country thanks to its unique design and color scheme. 

The plate is a favorite with locals and tourists alike because of its design, which captures the natural beauty and cultural legacy of the state. Hawaii’s license plate encapsulates the spirit of the Aloha State and is a must-have memento for anyone traveling to or living in the state.

Leave a Comment