When my mom was a kitten, they played the License Plate game when traveling. One point earned for each new state license plate seen, with bonus points if the plate was from another country. France became the first country to issue “number plates” in 1893. At the turn of the century New York required license plates on cars, but the car owners could have any material, style, and color of plate and could use their own identifying letters. License plates have been made of leather, wood, ceramic, plastic and copper. Sometimes the information was painted directly on the car. Now plates are made of metal with series of number and letters. States often add a slogan or a symbol to represent the state. There are also “personalized” plates which can be words, names or special combinations of letters and numbers that people like or to show support of an idea.. Shanghai, China is one of four Chinese cities that limit cars on the road by auctioning off a small number of license plates each year. This makes the license plate more expensive than some of the low priced cars!