Many automobile license plates proclaim glories of the issuing states; others spell out something dear to the drivers. Those plates and the basic ones handed out by motor vehicle departments are requirements to drive on public roads. New York was the first state to require license plates on motor vehicles on this date in 1901. At the time, there were just under 15,000 sputtering automobiles in the entire country, traveling over muddy, rudimentary roads without a license for the driver or the automobile. Now, there are nearly a quarter-billion cars, trucks, and buses rolling along the nation’s sophisticated highway system and local roads, and over 210 million Americans have driver’s licenses. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, online at <www.census.gov>.