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If you've ever noticed any U.S. postal service vehicles here in Minnesota, perhaps you've noticed they never have license plates. This is why.

License plates here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes have been in the news recently, with the introduction of the new Minnesota Vikings plate and the new Minnesota black-out license plates that are now available.

Every car, truck, van, or sports utility vehicle that's kept here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes is required to display a front and rear license plate issued by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Driver and Vehicle Services Division. Even motorcycles, recreational vehicles, and even trailers are all required to display a Minnesota license plate. But THESE vehicles don't have to.

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You might have noticed some new delivery vans that the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has recently put into service here in the Gopher State. I noted our mail was being delivered from one of these Dodge Ram vans earlier this summer. But I also noticed that the USPS van conspicuously did NOT have a Minnesota license plate on it.

Curt St John/Townsquare Media-Rochester
Curt St John/Townsquare Media-Rochester

Curiously, the older-style vehicles the USPS also drives also don't sport any type of Minnesota license plate either, though I guess I never really noticed before. I'm guessing that's because on the new Ram vans (above) there's a distinct license plate holder located on the left rear door, with the familiar blue and white Minnesota license plate conspicuously missing.

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That 'missing' license plate appears to be way more inconspicuous on the older-style USPS vehicles (below), which don't sport any type of license plate holder on the front or back.

Curt St John-Townsquare Media/Rochester, MN
Curt St John-Townsquare Media/Rochester, MN

So just WHY don't any USPS vehicles have Minnesota license plates on them? Well, according to this WKTY-TV story, it's because of a federal law passed 50 years ago, back in 1973, that exempted any USPS vehicle from having to display any state license plate.

You'll note, however, that each USPS vehicle does contain a unique number affixed to it, which serves as a way for each vehicle to be identified. And, this 6-News/Orlando story noted that while they're not required to have license plates, those USPS vehicles are still required to have insurance-- and anyone driving them is still required to obey all traffic laws.

Meanwhile, speaking of Minnesota license plates, keep scrolling to see what they looked like the year you were born and when you first started driving!

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See What Minnesota's License Plates Looked Like The Year You Were Born

Nothing beats a nostalgia trip. It's always fun to see how things looked the year you were born and how much they've changed throughout the years.

Minnesota's license plates have certainly gone through many evolutions. The first "license plate" was actually a rectangular black leather automobile license tag with a brass number '1' on the center front. It was issued by the State Boiler Inspector in the State of Minnesota in 1903.

The first Minnesota license plate as we know it was issued in 1909. Let's take a look at that license plate and then all the plates that followed, along with some interesting Wikipedia knowledge as we go. We've certainly come a long way!

Gallery Credit: David Drew