Kansas License plates — 1980/81

The famous "Wheat" Plate

1980 Blue "Wheat" Plate

The 1980/81 "Wheat Plate" was the last of the "numerical plates" and only the second to utilize registration renewal decals.  It was issued for all vehicles in 1980.

A typical 1980 car tag from Johnson County (with 1987 decals) The month expiration is indicated below the tag code.  The number "81", indicating the initial 1981 expiration, is embedded into the upper right corner.

Truck Plates did not use the letter code. They did, however, have a "TK" in the upper left hand corner. Because this came from a pickup under 12,000 GVW, I have to assume that it expires the same time as a car. Vehicles over 12,000 GVW expire in December.  Also note the "80" in the upper right and the 81 decal in the lower right.

A 1980 trailer tag.  Trailer tags had the "TRLR" along the side, with the classification (in this case, 8000 pounds GVW or less).  Also note that the number "80" stamped in the upper right corner.  Non-Highway vehicles also had a set of plates, with "NON" on the left side of the plate and "HY" on the right in a pattern similar to the trailer plate.

A low numbered tag from Douglas County.  Note the fact that the owner decided to place the renewal stickers in the upper right corner (where the 81 is embossed) rather than the designated spot on the lower right hand corner.

A "12M Farm" Truck tag from Wabaunsee County with all of the "year decals" for a light truck visible.  Also note the month sticker in the left hand corner.


A Heavy Farm Truck tag from Pottawatomie County with all of the "year decals" for a heavy truck visible. A 1983-2001 style sticker, updating the truck's weight classification, has been placed across the origianl class decal.


Around 1983, new plates were issued with a simplified light blue on white retroreflective design. The blue plates remained in circulation alongside the white plates.

The Car plates used a blue on white pattern, along with the registration expiration moved to the upper right, as well as the month becoming more visible

The Truck plate no longer has the "TK" in the corner, as well as pointing out that this particular truck comes up for renewal in September.  Note that the "12M Regular" sticker bar is not as tall as the one on the "blue" truck tag above.  This style would also be used on the 1989 and 1995 Kansas Tags.

Renewal Decals

The 1981 Truck/Trailer and 1982 Automobile decals both were blue-on-white. The 1982 Truck and 1983 Auto decals also used the same color (black on yellow).  1983 Truck decals are a little tricky - light trucks were black on red, but heavy trucks were white on green.  From 1984 on, the decals for trucks and cars were the same color.  Check the color chart below.
Year Car Truck Heavy
1980 N/A N/P
1981 N/P 81
1982 82 82
1983 83 83 83
1984 84
1985 85
1986 86
1987 87
1988 88 N/A