Question: Can you tell what state agency a car is from by looking at the license plate? Ive noticed all of Washingtons government plates seem to have a bunch of numbers and then end with a single final letter. Carmine, Tacoma
Answer: You can tell some things by looking at the plate, but only in a couple of cases can you identify the specific agency.
Exempt plates are used on vehicles owned, rented or leased not only by state agencies but also by counties, cities, towns and school districts, said Brad Benfield, a spokesman for the state Department of Licensing.
The plates have five digits and then, as you noticed, a final letter either C, D, E, K or M.
Heres the key to the state code, as provided by Benfield:
E: State agency (could be any one of dozens)
K: State Department of Transportation
M: States general motor pool
Washington State Patrol licenses end with either SP or WSP.
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