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The history of Q Plates

  • October 1921 :
    The first Q Plates hit the streets.

    Q Plates were first issued in 1921. Prior to that year, vehicle registration was handled by the Queensland Police Traffic Department as vehicles were registered to the police district in which they were driven. These early plates started with a letter – representing district – followed by a number.

  • September 1939 :
    WWII begins.

    Q Plates were first issued in 1921. Prior to that year, vehicle registration was handled by the Queensland Police Traffic Department as vehicles were registered to the police district in which they were driven.

  • May 1955 :
    The last Q Plates are released.

    In 1955, the issuing of Q Plates ceased. Q687612 was the last Q Plate to be produced, and embossed plates were introduced. 3-letter, 3-number format became the standard issue and continues today.

  • June 1985 :
    The Great Queensland Plate Auction

    In 1985, The Great QLD Plate Auction was held at the Sheraton Hotel. With 175 Q Plates (including Q1–Q9 & Q10–Q50) going under the hammer, it was the largest auction of Q Plates in Queensland, with plates selling to many well-known Queensland business and members of society.

  • February 2005 :
    50-year anniversary auction

    2005 marked 50 years since the last Q Plate was issued for Queensland roads. PPQ held a plate auction to commemorate this anniversary. In this image, then owner of Q2 and Q3 Shane Quig holds up his plates, both for sale at the auction.

  • March 2010 :
    The 2010 PPQ Auction

    PPQ's 2010 Plate Auction showcased plates from as early in the range as Q70 to as late as Q88880.

  • June 2021 :
    Q Plates today

    Q Plates remain in circulation to this day. The original plates are an important part of Queensland automotive history, with stories and generational legacies linked to many of the original sets. Discover the stories of some of the people who hold them now:

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    Own a Q Plate and want to share your story with us? Contact us to be featured.