What Does FP Mean on a License Plate?

You have most likely seen the letters “F.P.” on license plates in some U.S. states. Not all states have this, and not everyone knows what it means. So, what does F.P. stand for on a license plate?

The F.P. on a license plate means “fleet permanent.” Fleet permanent plates are issued on motor vehicles owned or leased by a government agency, a company, or an organization. Examples of these are bus companies, police departments, and taxicab companies. One of the U.S. states that offer F.P. plates includes Illinois.

Read on to learn more about F.P. plates, their uses, and which U.S. states offer them.

What Does F.P. Mean on a License Plate?

what does fp mean on a license plate

If you have noticed some license plates with the characters “F.P.” on them, it means “fleet permanent.” F.P. plates are issued on motor vehicles owned or leased by a government agency, a company, or an organization, including:

  • Bus companies,
  • Police departments, and
  • Taxicab companies.

U.S. states that offer F.P. plates include Illinois.

In essence, vehicles with F.P. plates are not owned by individuals. Instead, they may be owned by businesses, the government, or even nonprofit organizations. These vehicles are used for specific work-related purposes and are regularly maintained by professional mechanics.

Fleet Vehicle License Plates in the Different U.S. States

Not all U.S. states use the acronym F.P. on license plates to identify fleet vehicles. Other states use a different acronym to distinguish fleet vehicles from those not.

Let’s find out which U.S. states use F.P. and which ones do not:

Illinois Fleet License Plate

As I have mentioned, the acronym F.P. is commonly seen on license plates of vehicles registered in Illinois. It is written so that the letter F is located on the leftmost portion of the license plate.

Then, the letter P is located right below it. The vehicle’s plate number then follows these characters. Also, the word “Illinois” is centered on the topmost part of the plate.

Oregon Fleet License Plate

Many Americans thought Oregon also uses the acronym F.P. on license plates to identify fleet vehicles. This is incorrect; instead, this U.S. state uses the acronym P.F. While F.P. stands for Fleet Permanent in Illinois, P.F. stands for Permanent Fleet in Oregon.

So, if you are from Oregon and have a fleet of vehicles, a distinctive series of license plates will be issued for each of your units. Each plate begins with the letters P.F., followed by the plate number.

The state’s name appears centered on the topmost part of the plate. At the bottom of the plate, the words “Permanent Fleet” are written. This type of plate features a yellow background and blue text.

Florida Fleet License Plate

In Florida, the acronym F.P. does not refer to fleet vehicles. Instead, the license plates have a distinctive color. And you will see the word “Fleet” right at the bottom of the plate, while the word “Florida” is seen on top.

At the same time, the name and logo of the organization are required to be displayed on each unit. This way, they become readily identifiable.

California Fleet License Plate

In California, they have a Permanent Fleet Registration (PFR) program. This program makes it convenient for fleet vehicle owners to register each unit.

A fleet vehicle in California does not bear the acronyms F.P. or P.F. The characters are not painted on the license plate itself. Instead, it comes as a sticker which should be placed at the upper right portion of the plate.

The details appearing on the sticker include the text “California Permanent Fleet.” The letters PFR also appear on the sticker and are written vertically on the rightmost portion. At the bottom, you will find the serial number.

New York Fleet License Plate

There’s a different way of identifying fleet vehicles in New York. Instead of stating on the license plate that the vehicle is a fleet, it states explicitly what type of vehicle it is.

For instance, a commercial vehicle has a license plate where the word “commercial” appears on the bottom. The word “trailer” appears on the same spot for trailer trucks. And like in other states, the state’s name appears on the uppermost part of the plate.

Washington, D.C. Fleet License Plate

In Washington, D.C., they have a Fleet Account Program. This makes it convenient for owners to register their fleet vehicles.

The license plates of fleet vehicles in Washington, D.C. do not have the acronym F.P. on them. Instead, the word “Fleet” appears on the plate and has a different font from the rest of the text. This makes it easier to identify if the unit is a fleet vehicle or not.

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United States License Plate Designs and Serial Formats

what do fp mean on license plates

Features Colors, Symbols, and Even Slogans

The appearance of U.S. license plates typically features colors, symbols, and even slogans related to the U.S. state or the issuing jurisdiction.

Has Typically 6-7 Characters

The regular license plates issued to passenger vehicles typically have about 6 to 7 characters. There are eight characters for vanity plates, depending on the state.

In some U.S. states, the serial format is all numeric. This is usually practiced in states with small populations, such as Delaware, in which their license plates feature six digits.

Serial Format on License Plates by State

Combination of Letters and Digits

For U.S. states with bigger populations, a combination of letters and digits is used. For instance, California’s serial format of license plates looks like “1XYZ456.”

In Texas, Ohio, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Georgia, it typically looks like “XYZ-7890.”

This is also the serial format of license plates in Wisconsin, Washington, Virginia, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, New York, and Michigan.

In Illinois and Connecticut, the format is “YZ-45678.” Whereas in Maryland, the format is “4YZ5678.”

Some States Strictly Use Four Letters and Two Numbers

Some states strictly use four letters and two numbers, including New Jersey, Florida, Colorado, and Arkansas. However, the sequences may differ. For instance, the WXY-23Z format is applied in Arkansas, while the WXY-Z23 format is applied in Colorado.

The 23W-XYZ format is followed in Florida, whereas the W23-XYZ format is implemented in New Jersey.

3-letter and 3-digit Format

For less crowded U.S. states, the 3-letter and 3-digit format is implemented. But then again, the sequence may differ. Some use XYZ-456, while others make use of the 456-XYZ format.

These U.S. states include South Carolina, Oklahoma, North Dakota, New Mexico, Nebraska, Minnesota, Louisiana, Kansas, Iowa, Indiana, Hawaii, and Alaska.

Arizona’s Distinct Serial Format

Arizona, on the contrary, has a distinct serial format bearing six characters. All characters can either be numbers or letters, except for the 4th character, which is constantly a number. The serial format can either look like “123456” or “ABC1DE.”

Standardization of License Plate Sizes

F.P. on a License Plate

Whether a vehicle forms part of a fleet account, its license plate will bear letters and/or numbers. These serials are unique and distinct for all vehicles.

However, their license plates have added details to make them identifiable for fleet vehicles. There are states where the letters F.P. appear vertically. Then, there are those with the letters P.F., which also appear vertically.

In some states, the details are more specific. The word “fleet” is specifically included on the license plate. But some states want it even more specific, in which the words “Permanent Fleet” are written on the plate. 

Some states make it even more literally. For instance, the word “trailer” appears on the license plate of, apparently, a trailer truck. Then, commercial vehicles whose license plates bear the word “commercial.”

The bottom line is that the way each state identifies fleet vehicles through their license plates differs.

Again, what does F.P. mean on a license plate? F.P. on a license plate means Fleet Permanent. You can see F.P. printed on government, company, or organization-owned vehicles, precisely, on police cars, taxicab companies, etc. Illinois offers F.P. plates.

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Frequently Asked Questions – What Does F.P. Stand for on a License Plate?

what does the letters fp mean on a license plate

Here are some frequently asked questions related to license plates bearing the letters F.P.:

What Does F.P. Stand for on a License Plate?

The letters F.P. on license plates mean “fleet permanent” or “fleet plate.” License plates with the acronym F.P. are issued on motor vehicles owned or leased by a government agency, a company, or an organization.

These may include bus companies, police departments, and taxicab companies. Illinois is one of the U.S. states known to use this acronym on license plates.

What Is a Fleet Plate in Illinois?

A fleet plate is issued to Illinois fleet vehicles or apportioned vehicles.

What Does FOP Mean on a License Plate?

The acronym FOP on license plates means Fraternal Order of Police. FOP is a labor union whose members have sworn law enforcement officers in the United States.

FOP members and their spouses can use vehicles with FOP license plates. In most cases, vehicles of FOP members are also fleet vehicles.

What Does MP on a License Plate Mean?

The acronym M.P. on a license plate means Municipal Police. Typically, these letters are followed by a series of numbers and/or letters.

In U.S. towns, the Municipal Police department is the local enforcement. But in other states, they may also be referred to as County Police (C.P.) or State Police (S.P.). There are, however, U.S. states that have all three, such as the state of New Jersey.

What Does F.F. Mean on a License Plate?

The acronym F.F. on a license plate stands for Firefighters. If you see a license plate with the letters F.F. on it, the vehicle’s driver or passenger is a firefighter. This acronym is typically used in Illinois.

In some U.S. states, the license plates of vehicles for firefighters have the acronym P.F. or V.F. instead of F.F. P.F. stands for Professional Firefighters, while V.F. stands for Volunteer Firefighters.

What Does D.D. Mean on Illinois License Plate?

If you see the letters D.D. on an Illinois license plate, it means Document Discriminator. This acronym is also used in other U.S. states. It refers to a security code that identifies the place and date of license issuance.

What Does NYP Stand for on a License Plate?

NYP stands for New York Press. A license plate that bears the letters NYP is also a fleet vehicle. However, vehicles with NYP license plates are only intended for newsgathering.

What Is Considered a Commercial Vehicle in Illinois?

In Illinois, commercial motor vehicles are used in intrastate and interstate commerce on public highways. These vehicles transport products or passengers for business purposes.

What Is an S.T. Trailer Plate in Illinois?

S.T. means Semi Trailer, and S.T. license plates are lifetime plates. You only buy it once, and there’s no need to renew it.

What Are Military Plates?

Military Plates are also called the Military Veteran Specialty License Plates. These commemorate major military events or service branches, including service badges and meritorious medal awards.

All U.S. states issue military license plates. Some states even issue special ones for disabled veterans.

Can You Get a Lifetime License Plate for a Trailer in Illinois?

Illinois issues lifetime license plates for trailers. However, this is only issued if your truck, trailer, and load weight are below 8,000 pounds.

Is There a Permanent License Plate for Trailers in Illinois?

Permanent license plates for trailers are issued in Illinois. For those registering in 2022, the Illinois Secretary of State may issue a license plate to the trailer owner for a one-time fee of $118.

But the trailer’s gross weight should not exceed 3,000 pounds. This, however, only comes as an option for applicants.

What Is a T.A. Trailer in Illinois?

Illinois issues T.A. license plates for motorcycle trailers. Motorcycle trailers refer to small trailers intended to be pulled behind by motorcycles. This type of plate is issued for trailers that weigh a maximum of 3,000 pounds.

Do Veterans Get Free License Plates in Texas?

Veterans in Texas have to pay $3 for the first set of license plates. However, they don’t need to pay any fee for the additional sets. Disabled veterans (DV) who will get DV license plates may also get disabled parking placards without presenting any other documentation.

How Much Is a Permanent Trailer Plate in Illinois?

A permanent trailer license plate in Illinois costs $118. The Illinois Secretary of State issues the plate, and the cost comes as a one-time fee. Also, this license plate is only issued if the trailer has a gross weight not exceeding 3,000 pounds. This offer, however, comes as an option to applicants.

Can You Transfer Trailer Plates in Illinois?

License plates for trailers in Illinois are issued to the owner and not to the vehicle. If you sell your trailer, the new owner has to apply for their new trailer license plate. On the other hand, you can transfer the license plate to another trailer.

Why Are There Two Different License Plates for New York?

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo explained in 2019 that the two different license plates are due to the issuance of replacement plates. Old license plates need to be replaced with new ones to be recognized by the cameras intended for cashless tolling.

Can You Register a Trailer Online in Illinois?

The Electronic Registration and Title (ERT) System in Illinois allows you to accomplish and print an Application for Vehicle Transaction/s online.

You may also apply by visiting the Illinois Secretary of State facility. You may also contact them through their toll-free line, especially if you have other concerns.

What Does Excelsior Mean on Any License Plate?

“Excelsior” is the motto of New York, which means “ever upward.” Its inclusion in the license plate design is not only appropriate. But New Yorkers were also allowed to vote for the license plate design.

The New York license plates also feature the Statue of Liberty, the Adirondacks, and the Niagara Falls, and most New Yorkers favor it.

How Much Is a Trailer License Plate in Illinois?

The fees for trailer license plates in Illinois depend on the type or weight of the trailers. For instance, the license plate for a recreational trailer (R.T.) weighing 3,000 pounds or less costs $18.

The plate for a recreational trailer weighing between 3,001 and 8,000 pounds costs $30. The plate for a recreational trailer weighing between 8,001 and 10,000 pounds costs $38.

In Closing: What Does F.P. Mean on a License Plate?

The letters F.P. on a license plate means “fleet permanent” or “fleet plate.” This type of license plate is issued to fleet vehicles. Fleet vehicles refer to motor vehicles owned or leased by a government agency, a company, or an organization.

These include bus companies, police departments, and taxicab companies. U.S. states that offer F.P. plates include Illinois.

In essence, vehicles with F.P. plates are not owned by individuals. Instead, they may be owned by businesses, the government, or even nonprofit organizations. These vehicles are used for specific work-related purposes and are regularly maintained by professional mechanics.

Other U.S. states have fleet vehicles, too, but they don’t put the acronym F.F. on the license plates. It is referred to as P.F. in some states, while the word “Fleet” is what other U.S. states use. Suffice to say that the term used to identify fleet vehicles depends on your state.

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