License Tag in Miniature Identifies Auto Keys (Oct, 1939)

I think this is a great idea. Though I’m sure that Bruce Schneier could explain to me why this is a bad idea, I’d still love to have one. I can never remember my license plate number! Here is an awesome gallery of similar key chains.

This guy sells them, but they don’t look nearly as nice.

License Tag in Miniature Identifies Auto Keys

A metal tag stamped out as a miniature reproduction of your automobile license plates is attached by a chain to a novel key ring designed to hold car keys. Tiny copies of any individual license plate of any state may be obtained. The identifying tags are especially useful where a number of sets of keys to different cars are kept in one place, as in a public garage.

  1. Githyanki says: April 18, 20084:51 am

    It would help anyone that found your keys to find your car also. Of course with the remote key fob, it usually isnt too hard to find someones car anyways.

  2. Benzene says: April 18, 20087:05 am

    You don’t have to get exactly your license plate. Get that vanity plate you always wanted. I’d totally have C6H6265 if I felt the fee were low enough to justify being that nerdy.

  3. Mike Brown says: April 18, 20087:56 am

    I don’t know if anyone actually had these plates with the line advertising the 1939 Fair, but at the time of the 1964-5 Worlds Fair someone or other was mailing around NY license plate replicas. I ran into mine buried deep in a drawer somewhere a few years ago – 5V2104 was the number, having long outlived the 1961 Ford Fairlane it once rode on.

  4. Neil Russell says: April 18, 20088:51 am

    This pulled an old memory out into the light of day for me. When I was a kid I remember my dad having little license plate keyrings (Indiana 1962) but I just always thought it had been a premium from the Rambler dealer. Thanks for posting this one Charlie!

  5. Tuckeroo says: April 18, 200810:54 am

    One time I found a rental car fob with the licsence number attached to the car key in a parking lot. I looked around and spotted the car. Now let’s say hypothetically that I was not who I was, but rather some other kind of person that might try to exploit the situation, I could have at the very least gotten a joyride out of it. Fortunately, I am who I am and turned them into the lost and found at the building by the parking lot, where they were ultimately retreived by the renting motorist. I only mention that story to demonstrate how something like this could be a bad idea.

  6. Charlie says: April 18, 200811:40 am

    Benzene » Is that the chemical symbol for Benzene?

  7. jmyint says: April 18, 20081:44 pm

    I remember my dad also having these, he would get new ones every year.

  8. nlpnt says: April 18, 20086:12 pm

    Go to…
    Print up whatever state and number you want and “laminate” onto a solid keychain with clear tape!

  9. Stacia says: April 19, 20083:42 am

    My parents and grandparents had a ton of these from the 1940s-1970s. They were made by the Disabled American Veterans and sold as fundraisers. Since my grandma’s were all the exact same plate number for several years in a row, I assume they used her actual license plate numbers for the keyring tokens.

    You can see tons on eBay by searching for DAV and license plate. There are a ton of collectors.

  10. Moishe says: April 19, 20085:40 am

    I remember these being issued in new York City when I was young, sometime in the early or mid 1960’s. The first thought my father had was that if he lost his keys it would be easy for someone to identify the car they would open and start so he never used them.

  11. Benzene says: April 19, 20088:26 am

    Charlie >> The first four numbers are. The rest has to do with my account name on Puzzle Pirates. It’s rare when I can be just Benzene. >.>

  12. Gutie says: April 26, 200810:51 am

    If they were found they could be put in any US mailbox, and the vets’ organization would have them mailed to the owner. At least that’s what they promised when they asked for a contribution

  13. Brad says: July 11, 20086:19 am

    I found some of these on a keychain (various years) that belonged to my grandparents when I was a kid. Wasn’t sure what they were for, but still have them somewhere.

    Here in South Dakota, the first two digits of the plate represent what county the car is registered in. Kinda fun when you’re on the road and see someone from your home county.

  14. Brad says: July 11, 20086:21 am

    The guy who’s making ‘new’ ones needs to update a couple of states. The one for South Dakota is from more than 14 years ago. And Arizona’s haven’t looked like that for a long time.

  15. Cole says: July 19, 20086:05 am

    I can see where this would be really practical for the types who can’t remember their plate number

  16. George says: September 28, 20087:22 pm

    I remember DAV sending them to my father for his various Buicks during the fifties. I think the biggest danger was if someone dishonest found them. Not only did he/she know what car it belonged to, but a call to the motor vehicles department or buddy at the police department got you the address of the house it could open; they might even steal your new giant screen 17 inch Motorola!

  17. Gordon Daily says: September 23, 20104:17 am

    I remember these! I was born in 1964 and recall from the late 60’s my parents having them on their keyrings. It’s cool to see something like this that brings up a long-forgotten memory from childhood!

  18. Mike Dorn says: November 27, 20114:03 pm

    I have two sets of tags ffrom 1952 to 1974 does any one have an idea what they might be worth?

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