Summer Geek Challenge: The License Plate Game

It’s starting to be the summer travel season! This means that now is the prime time to play the license plate game (in the US), particularly if you’re going to be in the car for any extended length of time, or if you will be visiting high density tourist destinations, like national parks.

Playing the game is very simple; designate a passenger to keep a record of all the different license plates anyone in the car spots. The goal is to get as many of the 50 as possible, or 51 if you are in a prime spot to see a Washington, DC plate. You can also keep a bonus list of the number of Canadian provinces you spot. I have a feeling that this would be an auspicious year for me to play, because I saw a Hawaii plate on my way home from work yesterday, and I’ve seen about 3 Alaska plates in the last week.

If you’re feeling ambitious, we could try to work out a point system in the comments based on the rarity of various license plates. If you live outside the US and have a different version of the game, tell us your rules. And if you go on a trip this summer, leave a comment with your list. (To be fair, you should only submit a list that you managed to compile over the course of one trip.)

-posted by Dana

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3 Responses to Summer Geek Challenge: The License Plate Game

  1. jessimonster says:

    Another lisence plate game is to take the letters of the plate and make an acronym for them. For example, my license plate’s letters are EWO, so that could be something like Evil Wookie Observer. Of course, when my mom and I play this game, it can get a little obscene. Another road trip game we play is the Horses and Cemetaries games. The object is for the people on the drivers side and passenger sides to split into two teams, and each side of the car counts the horses they pass on their side. Which ever side has the most horses at the end of the trip is the winner, but watch out! If you pass a cemetary on your side, you lose all your horses and you have to start over again from 1.
    Thought you might be interested in those.

  2. poetloverrebelspy says:

    In my post “Killing Time on the Road,” I link to the TravelHacker page with a ton of road trip games. Jessimonster, they call your game “counting cows.”

    I think if I see any U.S. plate on the road here this summer, I get a million-point bonus!

  3. I wrote an iPhone/iPod Touch app to keep track of the plates you found. You can check it out at http://apps.lilius.com/The_License_Plate_Game/The_License_Plate_Game.html

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