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Search Bar for German PlateFinder/Deutscher Schildfinder

Note the new search bar at the top of the screen

The German PlateFinder (also available in German as Deutscher Schildfinder to iOS devices with German as their default language) now sports a search bar! Hopefully this will help you locate that elusive license plate code that defies discovery! (The German PlateFinder has more than 400 codes found on present-day license plates in Germany.)

Watch for search bars on our other PlateFinder apps–coming “real soon now.”

And, yes, we have a long list of enhancements to the PlateFinders–as well as other non-PlateFinder apps!


(FWIW, There are more downloads of the German PlateFinder than of all other of our PlateFinders combined–most of the downloads are to German devices!)

Ohio PlateFinder Released Today

Today Ohio PlateFinder (the seventh in the PlateFinder series) was released to the iPhone App Store

We hope you enjoy it.

The Ohio PlateFinder was created as the direct result of an email received August 6, asking about a PlateFinder for Ohio. Thanks for your query!!

If you are aware of other states or regions that use locale codes in their plates, feel free to contact us at Your favorite PlateFinder might be the next!

Visit Ohio PlateFinder in the App Store.

All Apps Updated for iPhone 5

All our apps now support the iPhone 5’s larger display! Be sure to update them if you own earlier versions.

Additionally, we’ve fixed autorotation bugs in the South Dakota and Montana PlateFinders. Let us know if you find other bugs.
We’re working on a new app. (We’ll let you know when it is released …)

German PlateFinder / Deutscher Schildfinder Released This Week

Three days ago our latest iPhone app in the “PlateFinder” series appeared in the iPhone App Store. The German PlateFinder (Deutscher Schildfinder in German) is our most aggressive undertaking thus far. Here are a few highlights:

  • If your iOS device’s default language (in Settings) is German, the entire app appears in German. For other languages, the interface defaults to English
  • All 451 of the current location codes that appear on German license plates appear in the app.
  • In order to facilitate the location of a given code, an index appears at the right-hand side of the main view.
  • (Yes, there are plans to add a search bar at the top of the main view, to facilitate searches for specific locations and codes.)
  • Like our other PlateFinder apps, this one is free.
This is our first venture in internationalized apps. Please send suggestions, feedback, complaints and bug reports to


Yesterday while stopped at a traffic light, I noticed an Alabama license plate directly in front of me. Realizing that this was a “slow” light and remembering that iOS 5 gives quick access to the camera, I:

  1. Pressed the Home button twice
  2. Touched the camera button
  3. Pointed the iPhone at the vehicle in front of me
  4. Pressed the increase-volume button

Then I put the iPhone back into my pocket and waited another minute for the light to change.

Returning home, I opened Alabama Platefinder and learned that Alabama license plate numbers that begin with “63” are from Tuscaloosa. I also learned that

  • Tuscaloosa County is named in honor of the pre-Choctaw chief Tuskaloosa
  • Tuscaloosa County is Alabama’s second-largest in area and sixth-largest in population.
  • the county seat, Tuscaloosa, was the state capital from 1826 to 1845.

… as well as numerous other interesting trivia.

Wyoming PlateFinder 1.1 Released Today

Version 1.1 of Wyoming PlateFinder appeared in Apple’s App Store today. It sports two enhancements:

  1. On the opening list of codes, counties and county seats, touching the (Sort by) County seat button in the lower right-hand corner will enlarge the county seat line in the list entries. This should make it more apparent that the entries are arranged by county seat name.
  2. The opening launch screen now has a high-resolution version. The icon that appears on the main screen will also appear in higher resolution on capable devices.

Additional versions of Wyoming PlateFinder (and the other PlateFinders) are coming soon.

Thank You, Steve Jobs! We Miss you!

It was raining outside when we received the news that Steve Jobs passed away today. Thanks, Steve, for your contributions to our lives through your innovative creativity at Apple!

It was good to see you at WWDC in June. We missed you at the iPhone announcement two days ago. We’ll continue to miss you.

Best wishes … until we meet again!

Alabama PlateFinder

Released this past week, Alabama PlateFinder is the 5th in our series of iPhone Apps for states that use license plate prefixes to  identify the county that issued the plate.

Alabama began using numeric license plate prefixes in 1955. Codes 1 through 3 correspond to the three most populous counties in 1955: Jefferson County (county seat Birmingham), Mobile County (county seat Mobile), and Montgomery County (county seat Montgomery–the state capital). The remaining 64 codes are assigned to counties alphabetically. The motto “Heart of Dixie” has appeared on most Alabama license plates since 1955, and a heart has appeared somewhere on the plate.

It is worth noting that St. Clair County has two county seats. (It is the only county with two fully functional county seats–at least, in the five PlateFinder apps released so far.)

Visit Alabama PlateFinder in the iPhone Apps Store.

We hope you enjoy Alabama PlateFinder. Send feedback, requests and suggestions to

Montana PlateFinder

Montana PlateFinder is the 4th in our series of iPhone Apps for states that use license plate prefixes to  identify the county that issued the plate.

Montana has been using county license plate prefixes since 1936.  Numbers were assigned to counties based on population in about 1930, from most populous (Silver Bow County–county seat: Butte) to least populous (Lincoln County–county seat: Libby). (The codes first used in 1936 are still used today, even though the population rankings have changed.) If you know the county numbers, you can identify the county that issued most Montana plates. (Exceptions include personalized and special issue plates, for example.)

On many of the plates, a silhouette of a bison skull separates the county prefix from the remainder of the plate number. The county number is frequently followed immediately by an alphabetic letter.

Visit Montana PlateFinder in the iPhone Apps Store.

We hope you enjoy Montana PlateFinder. Send feedback, requests and suggestions to

South Dakota PlateFinder

South Dakota is another of the handful of states whose license plate numbers have prefixes that identify the county that issued the plates.

The present-day prefixes have been used since 1987. The same codes were also used during the years 1956-1975.

In 1956 the nine most populous counties were assigned numbers 1-9, beginning with Minnehaha County, the most populous. The other counties–arranged alphabetically–received codes 10 through 64.

Three additional counties were asigned numbers 65-67:

  1. Shannon County (adjacent to and east of Fall River County) is one of two counties with no county seat. Fall River County’s county seat, Hot Springs, serves as Shannon County’s administrative center.
  2. Washabaugh County was dissolved on January 1, 1983 and merged with neighboring Jackson County on the north. Apparently Bennett County (to the south) continues to issue plates with prefix 66 to vehicles owned by residents who live in the area that was previously Washabaugh County. (Prefix 66 isn’t currently represented by South Dakota PlateFinder.)
  3. Todd County (adjacent to and west of Tripp County) is the other county with no county seat. Winner, the county seat of Tripp County, serves as Todd County’s administrative center.

South Dakota PlateFinder was written to help you learn about South Dakota by reading the codes at the beginning of license plates you encounter while travelling in South Dakota and elsewhere. The app shows where each county is located. It also links to additional information about each county and its county seat.

Students of South Dakota history will appreciate South Dakota PlateFinder as they study South Dakota and memorize and review its counties.

(Note: Besides the prefixes used 1956-1975 and 1987-present, South Dakota has had several other schemes, dating back to 1925. Those schemes are beyond the present scope of South Dakota PlateFinder)

Visit South Dakota PlateFinder in the iPhone App Store.

We hope you enjoy South Dakota PlateFinder! Send requests, suggestions and feedback to