Vehicle License Plates
Vehicle license plates are introduced in Grand Theft Auto III with the player's ability to explore in a three-dimensional environment making plates viewable. The feature has very little use aside for cosmetic purposes.
License plates in GTA III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City are static textures, with all plates in GTA III reading LC R29 and all in GTA Vice City illegible but have a Florida state plate.
License plates are dynamic in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, generating random 7 character license numbers that consist of both letters and numbers, and are divided into groups of four and three characters. Each of the three major cities in San Andreas have their own plates and some vehicles have their own custom license numbers. Note, however, that during a session of play, all cars of the same model will have the same number plate (for example, all Landstalkers will have the same plates). These will change if a new session of play is started, even if stored in a garage.
For Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, license plates in both games feature a "LC" (Liberty City) and "VC" (Vice City) prefix, respectively, followed by a four-digit number. While still more varied than in GTA III and GTA Vice City, the games only offer a limited number of license numbers, with each of them specific to certain vehicles models.
In Grand Theft Auto IV, license plates do not have an actual letter-number combination. Every vehicle that has a license plate has "LIBERTY CITY" in large blue capital letters. If a player zooms in with the analog sticks, or with a sniper rifle, they can see that it says "Liberty City State" . These license plates are almost an exact clone of the current New York license plates, as seen here. It is possible that the plates were intended to have a letter-number combination, much like the vehicles in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, but it may have been forgotten during the game's development.
Custom plates are typically vanity plates featured on special vehicles, such as vehicles belonging to certain individuals or custom vehicles. Such plates has been seen in use in both GTA Vice City and GTA San Andreas. In San Andreas they cannot be saved in garages, if they are they simply revert to a usual seven digit plate.
- Vehicle license plate (GTA3).jpg
The license plate in GTA III.
- Vehicle license plate (GTAVC) (variant 1).jpg
The "Floridian" plate in GTA Vice City, common on most road vehicles.
- Vehicle license plate (GTAVC) (variant 2).jpg
The anadorned Vice City plate in GTA Vice City, used on most industrial vehicles and low-grade vehicles.
- Vehicle license plate (GTASA) (Los Santos).jpg
A Los Santos plate in GTA San Andreas.
- Vehicle license plate (GTASA) (San Fierro).jpg
A San Fierro plate in GTA San Andreas.
- Vehicle license plate (GTASA) (Las Venturas).jpg
A Las Venturas plate in GTA San Andreas. Note the license number is reversed for this particular vehicle due to design error.
- Vehicle license plate (GTALCS).jpg
A license plate in GTA Liberty City Stories.
- Vehicle license plate (GTAVCS).jpg
A license plate in GTA Vice City Stories.
- Vehicle license plate (GTA4) (unnumbered).jpg
The unnumbered license plate used on road vehicles in GTA IV.
- Vehicle license plate (GTA4) (numbered).jpg
The numbered license plate used on trailers in GTA IV.