It's hard to imagine anything from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles can have glamor or sex appeal but these photos from another era prove that that's not true.

Maine's Digital Archive

Digging through the Digital Maine archives website, you can find a lot of old random stuff from just about anything to do with the various government departments here in the State of Maine.

And sometimes, just like digging through the artifacts in an old attic, you'll find some true gems in the archive including these old BMV photos I came across.

WBZN Old Town Maine logo
Get our free mobile app

A Short History of Maine's License Plates

According to, the State of Maine started using license plates in 1905 then introduced the 'Vacationland' slogan on its plates in 1936. Since its onset, Maine's license plates have been of various colors and sizes until the 1950s when a standardized size was set for North American vehicles.  Today there are dozens of designs, from the classic chickadee plate for general use introduced in 1999, to many other specialized plates that designate usage or a design specialized to support different causes.


Maine's BMV Photos Featuring Movie and TV Actresses of the 1950s

These old photos uncovered at show how Maine marketed the latest license plate design utilizing beautiful, young, and well-dressed, or scantily clad, women. What I didn't realize until I started digging deeper into these photos, which already seemed odd to have a bit of glamour associated with them considering what the pictures are for, I realized that these aren't just models.

Digital Public Library of America
Digital Public Library of America

The women featured in these marketing photos are actually actresses that were popular in these days of the promotions. Some of the names listed in the archives of these actresses aren't the names that you would know these actresses as and a few of them had some hearty careers in 1950's and 1960's Hollywood, starring in iconic movies and TV shows alongside stars like Bob Hope and Danny Kaye.

Check out these old Maine DMV photos featuring some Hollywood starlets of the 1950s.

Vintage Photos of Hollywood Starlets Showing Off Maine License Plates In the 1950's

Check out these old photos from the 1950's from the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles capturing an era when showcasing the latest license plate design required pretty women and, sometimes, a lot of leg. Funny enough, these women are Hollywood actresses that may be known by other names. See who was modeling Maine's license plates in this bygone era of 'Old Hollywood'.

These Celebrities Call New England Home

These celebrities all have ties to New England in some way, shape, or form!

See Where These Celebrities Went to School in Maine

More From WBZN Old Town Maine