My license plate number is not what you would see on a typical plate in Maine. It's a standard passenger car plate that has been in my family for almost 50 years.

Standard Maine plates issued today use four numbers and two letters, like 1234 AB. Mine has five numbers with a dash and no letters. 33-375 is not a vanity plate, but it's a standard passenger car Maine license plate number that was originally issued in 1964 before I was born. This is the plate number given to my grandfather and it has stayed in my family ever since. You might wonder how.

Townsquare Media
Townsquare Media

Before you say my plate is expired, that photo was taken in the summer of 1999, so it's all good.

Our entire family had plate numbers in sequence. My dad had 33-374, my grandfather 33-375 and my mother had 33-376. When my grandfather died in 1983, 33-375 went on my grandmother's car.

In 1988 when the state switched to the lobster plate with a new plate configuration, many people were upset they would have to lose the plate numbers they already had. According to which has the history of license plates in Maine, the state of Maine re-issued license plates with the XX-XXX format for those that wanted to keep them.

When my grandmother passed away, 33-375 went to my father's truck. The other plates in the family had been given up.

When he decided to become a permanent resident of Florida he asked if I wanted the plate. It was a tough decision as the plate on my first car in college had a unique plate: 9528 Z, one of the last issued with only one letter. I decided to keep the plate in the family and now have 33-375 on my car.

The plate does not come without its troubles. I've driven through EZ-Pass tolls in Maine with it and they have thought it was a commercial plate and I wasn't paying the right toll. The parking system in Portland that lets you pay for your street parking with your phone doesn't recognize 33-375 so I've gotten a few tickets that weren't warranted. I have to enter my plate without the dash for them to locate me.

Minor inconveniences to keep this plate number under the Parsons name all these years. When I'm done with 33-375, I'm going to offer it to my son as well.

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