The very first license plates were introduced in 1884 in Victoria, Canada. However they were not for cars, but for horse-drawn carriage taxis. It wasn’t until 1893 that national license plates were introduced for cars in France. The United States followed suit by a law enforcing them in 1901 in New York.
Today every car is required to have a government issued license plate. Usually a random combination of numbers and letters is assigned for each car. However, it is possible to buy a meaningful custom license plate, called a vanity plate. For example, in the United Arab Emirates, the plate “1” sold for $14,000,000.
Infographic by DriveSteady.com