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On May 29, 1903, the Connecticut State Police was founded, thus the Centennial Celebration for this pioneer state law enforcement agency was in 2003.

Five state police commissioners were appointed to lay the groundwork for the first state police department. In October of the same year, Thomas F. Egan was named the agency's first superintendent. He was empowered to appoint the first state police officers. He chose five and their primary duties were to enforce laws pertaining to intoxicating liquor and gaming violations as were the mandates of most early state police agencies at the time.

By 1913, the department numbered 15 state police officers and in 1923 there were 80. Between 1921 and 1924, seven barracks were established outside of Hartford with one or two officers manning each of these "sub-stations."

During the 1940's, the CSP embarked on a public relations campaign and used clearly-marked cruisers to remind motorists of police presence. The CSP divided state areas into divisions which encompassed 11 stations, and established six advanced and specialized units. The uniform was redesigned and national profile was given to the Bureau of Identification, the forerunner of the present-day, state of the art Forensics Lab.

Polygraph, Connecticut On-Line Law Enforcement Communication Teleprocessing, Canine Unit, Firearms Range, and D.A.R.E. (training of state and local officers in drug awareness) are among other features added by the department over the years.



License Plates of the Connecticut State Police

Connecticut State Police vehicles have always been registered with regular state-issued passenger license plates for their vehicles. Commencing around 1938, the CSP began mounting title plates which read STATE over POLICE and used in conjunction with the regular state-issued plates for the patrol vehicle. These plates were made of embossed steel and measured approximately 6" by 10 1/2". They were painted red with white lettering. It is said that some of the earlier versions of these SP title plates were stamped into the reverse sides of unissued 1932-1935 passenger plates to the point where the flattened features of the original plate can be seen on the rear side of the SP plates. These plates would be the shorter 5 7/8" by 9 1/4" versions from that era.

Special steel mounting brackets and posts were used quite often and were affixed into pre-drilled holes in the vehicle's bumper or other fixtures to display the title plate prominently.
The Connecticut State Police stands alone in this unusual practice amid the other SP-HP agencies in the United States.



  • Connecticut license plate image1938-1954 issue. Embossed steel. Approx. 6" x 10 1/2". White over red.

    (Courtesy Ted Evangelous)
  • Connecticut police car image

  • Connecticut police car image

  • Connecticut police car image

  • Connecticut magazine cover imageCover of March 24 1943 issue of the Saturday Evening Post Magazine
  • Connecticut police car imageRestored 1941 CSP Ford Patrol Car. A match to every last detail from the CSP car of the 1943 Saturday Evening Post cover-right down to the same license number!

    (See Gallery at bottom of page for close-up)

    (Courtesy of Dean Hammond)
  • Connecticut police car and officer image
  • Connecticut police car image

Connecticut police car and officer image

Connecticut police car and officer imagePhoto courtesy Tom Sheehy

In 1954, the Connecticut State Police unveiled a new replacement for the aging title plates they had been using for almost twenty years. It was a flat aluminum plate that was silkscreened in reflective material to heighten visibility in low-light conditions. This new material was heralded as a significant aid for officer safety. The new plates were still mounted using the same brackets and posts as their predecessors.


  • Connecticut police car and officers imageChange-Over to reflective plates-Circa 1954
  • Connecticut police car and officer image 1954 Reflective issue
  • Connecticut license plate image1954-1966 issue- Flat aluminum. Approx. 6" x 10 1/2".Reflective white screened over red.

    (Courtesy Robert Ward)
  • Connecticut police car and officer image1954 Ford

Connecticut police car image

Connecticut police car and officer image

Connecticut police car and officer imageConnecticut State Police "Blue Goose" Ranch Wagon. Passenger car license plate with June 1963 validation decal. Courtesy Jerry Longo.

Connecticut police signs

In 1964, Connecticut State Police began using title plates that were cut into the shape of the state shield. These plates have come to be known as "cloverleaf" plates or signs in collecting circles. The smaller rectangular reflective white over red title plates introduced ten years earlier were being phased-out. The larger cloverleaf shields measured approximately 11 3/4" by 10 1/2" and were mounted on the front and rear of CSP patrol vehicles. Some of these plates were mounted by means of steel posts attached to a backing bracket and dropped through two pre-drilled holes in the vehicle's bumper as with previous issues. Others were simply mounted directly through the front grille or trunk deck on the rear. It is believed that the yellow-gold over blue cloverleaf shield was the first color scheme used before the reflective white over red shields. Some of these cloverleaf shields have BOTH color schemes on the flip-side of each other so that either could be used.
Some of these shields may look the same, but there were two distinct font styles used. The earlier one used a thicker and tighter font, and the later version featured a thinner font which has the letters spaced further apart.

  • Connecticut police sign imageCirca 1964 to 1970's issue-Yellow/gold over blue-
    Thicker font
  • Connecticut police car image1964 CSP Ford
    (Courtesy Jerry Longo)
  • Connecticut police sign imageCirca 1964-1970's issue- Yellow over blue- Thinner font.
  • Connecticut police car image1964 CSP Ford
    (Courtesy Jerry Longo)
  • Connecticut police sign imageCirca 1964-1970's issue-Yellow over blue. SURGEON (Coroner)
  • Connecticut police car imageDoctor John Kilgus' CSP Pontiac at scene of fatal MVA - 1965
    (CSP SURGEON shield and CT "MD" license plates)
  • Connecticut police sign imageCirca 1964-1970's issue- Yellow/gold over blue. CHAPLAIN

    (Courtesy Bill Ceravola)
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  • Connecticut police sign imageCirca 1964-1970's issue- White over red.
    Early issue with no painted border
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  • Connecticut police sign imageCirca 1964-1970's issue- Reflective white over red.
  • Connecticut police car and officer image
  • Connecticut police car image
  • Connecticut police sign imageCirca 1964-1970's issue- Reflective white over red. SURGEON (Coroner)
  • Connecticut police car imageCTSP Surgeon Shield in Current Use with Ct "MD" license plate.
    (Courtesy Dean Hammond)
  • Connecticut police sign imageCirca 1964-1970's issue- Reflective white over red. CHAPLAIN.
    (Courtesy John Yeaw)
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  • Connecticut police sign imageCirca 1969-early 1980's light bar signs. Reflective white over red. (Approx 4" x 14" each) These aluminum signs were affixed to the rooftop light bar on either side of the rotator light . The signs were also marked on the backside so that STATE POLICE could be read from the front and the rear of the car. Click here to read an entertaining historical anecdote on the early roof racks used by the CSP
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  • Connecticut police sign imageCirca 1972-early 1990's issue. Flat heavy gauge aluminum. Approx 7" X 11". Reflective white over reflective red. Mounting hole placement varies depending on vehicle.
  • Connecticut police car and officer imageA young Trooper Ted Wojtusik with his 1973 Plymouth
  • Connecticut police car image1972 Ford
    (Courtesy Glenn Pianka)
  • Connecticut police car image
  • Connecticut police car and officer image
  • Connecticut police sign imageCirca 1972-1975 rear only issue. Flat heavy gauge aluminum. Approx. 7" x 30". Reflective white over red.
    Mounted by means of metallic hooks over the trunk deck.
  • Connecticut police car and officer image
  • Connecticut license plate imageThis photo shows the plate with mounting hooks still in place.

    (Courtesy Glenn Pianka)
  • Connecticut police sign imageSame plate showing reverse side and mounting hook placement.
  • Connecticut police sign imageCirca 1972-1975 rear only issue. Flat heavy gauge aluminum. Approx. 7" x 30". Reflective white over red. Mounted by means of metallic hooks over the trunk deck. Intended for units operating radar.

    (Courtesy Glenn Pianka and Sgt Jeffrey Maynard)
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  • Connecticut police car and officer shooting image
  • Connecticut police car image(Courtesy Glenn Pianka)
  • Connecticut police car image(Courtesy Glenn Pianka)
  • Connecticut police car image
  • Connecticut police car image(Courtesy Ted Wojtusik)
  • Connecticut police car image(Courtesy Ted Wojtusik)
  • Connecticut police car and officer image
  • Connecticut police sign imageCirca early 1980's light bar signs. Reflective yellow over blue. (Approx 4" x 14" each) These aluminum signs were affixed to the rooftop light bar on either side of the rotator light .
    The signs were also marked on the backside so that STATE POLICE could be read from the front and the rear of the car.
  • Connecticut police car image(Courtesy Ted Wojtusik)
  • Connecticut police cars image
  • Connecticut license plate image1985 Trunk Magnets- White over red vinyl (6" x 14") Experimental trial use for rear of CSP patrol cars.
    Experiment was quickly discontinued the same year.
  • Connecticut police car image1985 Ford with magnet signage affixed.
  • Connecticut police car image
  • Connecticut police car image(Courtesy Ted Wojtusik)
  • Connecticut police car image(Courtesy Ted Wojtusik)
  • Connecticut police car and officer with dog image
  • k9 patch
  • Connecticut police sign image1990s Lightbar insert. Acrylic. Approx. 3" x 13"
  • Connecticut police car image
  • Connecticut police car and officer image

Connecticut police cars image





1990 - Special-order plates made by Connecticut Correctional Industries.

In 1990, Sgt Glenn Pianka was assigned out of Troop "D" in Danielson, and made contact with CCI after a joint project four years earlier between the company and the 200th Anniversary Committee for the town of Bozrah CT, of which Sgt Pianka was a member. CCI had helped to produce Bicentennial license plates for the event.

Sgt Pianka thought it would be a neat idea and a morale booster to have specially-made CSP license plates manufactured with badge numbers of CSP personnel on this attractive keepsake. There was a bit of reluctance on the part of CCI at first, but eventually the company agreed to produce these plates since they were going to be for state troopers after all.

These embossed aluminum plates were sold for $10 a pair, and Sgt Pianka received many orders from troopers and other ranking members of the CSP. Sales were restricted to CSP personnel only, and it was made clear from the outset that these plates were to be used solely as display items and not to be affixed to any vehicle, CSP or otherwise.

150 of these plates were sold, and a few "special" one-of-a-kind plates for Sgt Pianka were made (hey, why not?- It was HIS idea after all!) including a reverse-colored (blue over white) version with his trooper badge number 868, and another in the white over blue with CSP SGT featured below. Some like the # 860 plate featured no state silhouette.

Unfortunately, as with most police agencies, fun ideas get extinguished quickly and THIS fun had come to an abrupt end when CSP management decided to put a stop to the endeavor. Sgt Pianka was ordered not to obtain or distribute anymore of the "unauthorized" plates, however it is still not known who the author of the execution was. The decision to put an end to a promotional souvenir of pride by the very management of the same organization got many people upset, particularly those who were awaiting their orders to be completed.

Statetrooperplates.com thanks Retired Sgt Glenn Pianka for sharing this historical piece of information for the hobby and salutes his valiant attempt to "show the pride" of belonging to the Connecticut State Police with such a noble item.

Connecticut license plate image Connecticut license plate image
Connecticut license plate image Connecticut license plate image
  • Connecticut license plate image1980's issue- White over blue.
    Dot separator and charactersIt has been said that Connecticut SP Dog Handlers were permitted to use these special K9 license plates on the front of their patrol cars at the time.
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  • Connecticut license plate image1980's issue- Yellow over blue.
    It has been said that Connecticut SP Dog Handlers were permitted to use these special K9 license plates on the front of their patrol cars at the time.
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  • Connecticut license plate image 1980's issue- Blue over white.
    It has been said that Connecticut SP Dog Handlers were permitted to use these special K9 license plates on the front of their patrol cars at the time.
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  • Connecticut license plate image1980s/1990's. Yellow over blue.
    Said to have been used on fronts of Emergency Services Unit trucks.
    (Courtesy Nick Leary)
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  • Connecticut license plate image
  • Connecticut license plate imageMarked CSP patrol car
  • Connecticut license plate imageActual registered CSP license plate used from July 28 1999 to July 28 2001.
    Corresponding Registration Certificate is seen at right.

    (Courtesy Robert Ward)
  • Connecticut license plate image
  • Connecticut license plate image

In 2001, the Connecticut State Police decided to reintroduce the cloverleaf title plate to be mounted on the rear decks of CSP patrol cars. The plastic and "cheap metal" shield measured roughly 9" by 10" . The plate was still cut into the shape of the state shield, and had a reflective adhesive decal affixed to the shape with the word STATE over TROOPER. These plates also had enough space in the bottom center to permit a graphic depicting the rank of the officer. There was also a distinct version for K-9 units as seen below. These title plates proved to be very unpopular with CSP troopers as they lacked durability and often interfered with the opening and closing of the patrol car's trunk including getting damaged during same.
This title plate gradually got phased out as more became damaged or gone missing.


  • Connecticut license plate imageCirca 2001 issue. Plastic and metal rear deck shield.
    Approx. 9" x 10".
    Reflective yellow-gold over reflective blue.
  • Connecticut license plate image
  • Connecticut license plate imageCirca 2001 K-9 issue. Plastic and metal rear deck shield. Approx. 9" x 10". Reflective yellow-gold over reflective blue.
  • Connecticut license plate imageK9 Officers Joel and Max

    (Courtesy Nick Leary)
  • Connecticut license plate imageCirca 2001 issue.
    Rank of Colonel. Plastic and metal rear deck shield.
    Approx. 9" x 10". Reflective yellow-gold over reflective blue.
  • Connecticut license plate imageCirca 2001 issue.
    Rank of Major. Plastic and metal rear deck shield.
    Approx. 9" x 10". Reflective yellow-gold over reflective blue.
  • Connecticut license plate imageCirca 2001 issue.
    Rank of Captain. Plastic and metal rear deck shield.
    Approx. 9" x 10". Reflective yellow-gold over reflective blue.
  • Connecticut police badge image
  • Connecticut license plate image
  • Connecticut license plate imageIdentification sign from the side of Emergency Services Unit truck- Usage from 1950's into the 1970's.

    (Courtesy Nick Leary)
  • Connecticut license plate imageIdentification sign from the side of Emergency Services Unit truck- Usage from 1950's into the 1970's.

    (Courtesy Nick Leary)
  • Connecticut license plate imageAlthough technically not a CSP license plate, this screened 6" x 12" plastic dash plate was utilized by a CSP member on court business.
  • Connecticut license plate imageCurrent CSP Chaplain placard.

    (Courtesy Glenn Pianka)
  • Connecticut license plate imageSpecial Centennial commemorative plate commissioned by CSP Association. Not an official issue. This plate was given to all CSP personnel who attended the 100th Anniversary Ball in 2003 at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT.
  • Connecticut license plate image
  • Connecticut license plate imageCirca early 1950's. License plate attachment for State Police Association of Connecticut.
  • Connecticut license plate imageCirca early 1950's. License plate attachment for State Police Association of Connecticut. Backside of attachment seen at far left.
  • Connecticut license plate imageSpecial type for CSP Auxiliary.

    (Courtesy Jerry Longo)




Motorcycle License Plates used by Connecticut State Police

As with most state police agencies in the early years, patrol on motorcycle by the CSP in those early motoring days was quite prevalent. Despite this fact, there is very little information with respect to CSP motorcycle license plate issuances. It can be surmised that the earliest CSP motorcycles bore only regular Connecticut motorcycle license plates, however there is ONE known titled CSP motorcycle license plate that was used in 1929 on the Henderson Excelsior of SPO John Doyle. The 3 inch by 9 inch embossed steel license plate is white on red. There are no other recorded titled CSP motorcycle license plates known thusfar.



Connecticut license plate image

  • Connecticut license plate imageCirca 1929- Embossed steel. Approx. 3" X 9". White over red. Used on the Henderson Excelsior of State Police Officer John Doyle

    (Courtesy Jerry Longo)
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  • Connecticut license plate image
  • Connecticut license plate image

Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles

  • Connecticut license plate image
  • Connecticut license plate image

The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles was founded in 1917. In 1919 the State Legislature authorized a uniformed force of 30 Inspectors equipped with motorcycles to inspect and weigh trucks on both the New York and Massachusetts borders. Connecticut pioneered the world’s first Point System to control careless and dangerous drivers in 1947, and in 1950 Connecticut was the first to record vehicle engine numbers to track stolen vehicles. Today, Motor Vehicle Inspectors are P.O.S.T. certified (Police Officers Standards and Training) law enforcement officers with powers of arrest. Each Inspector has received hundreds of hours of specialized training and utilizes the latest technologies to assist in DMV’s primary law enforcement functions which include:

Truck safety and size/weight enforcement
School bus inspections and enforcement
Licensing of repairers and dealers of new and used vehicles
Vehicle identification and auto theft investigation
Registration enforcement
Speed and traffic law enforcement

The primary objective of the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles, Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) is to reduce the number of accidents and hazardous material incidents involving commercial motor vehicles. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Division operates from six fixed weight and inspections sites and patrols all highways and numerous secondary roads throughout the State.

  • Connecticut license plate image1920 issue Motor Vehicle Inspector. Embossed steel.
    Black over yellow. Approx. 8" x 15".
    80 prefix followed by dash and three digit number.
    Possibly the first issue.
    (Courtesy Dave Kuehn)
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  • Connecticut license plate imageCirca 1946 -1956 issue. Embossed steel. Approx. 4" x 5 1/2". White over gun metal blue.
    While the MVD was renamed as the DMV in 1921 the old term is still in use today.

    (Courtesy John Yeaw)
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  • Connecticut license plate imageCirca 1950 -1956 issue. Embossed steel.
    Approx. 4" x 5 1/2". White over black.
    Reflective red adhesive on top portion above PATROL.
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  • Connecticut license plate imageCirca 1950's issue-Flat aluminum. Approx. 6" x 9 1/4". Reflective green over yellow-gold.
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  • Connecticut license plate imageCirca 1950's-1960's issue- Flat aluminum.
    Reflective gold over teal.

    (Courtesy Adam Gartska)
  • Connecticut license plate imageCirca 1960's issue. Embossed aluminum.
    White over dark blue.

    (Courtesy Nick Leary)


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