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What Is the License Plate Game?

During a long road trip or travel day, you’ll look for any way to entertain not only energetic kids but also yourself. For decades, many travelers have enjoyed playing the license plate game during their adventures.

This game can provide hours of entertainment during your journey and help everyone in the vehicle work together.

So what is the license plate game? Let’s take a look!

What Is the License Plate Game?

There are various ways to play the license plate game, but the basic concept remains the same. The goal is to see license plates from as many states as possible. Once you spot a license plate, you mark off the state, then search for any new state license plates.

It can be an entertaining way to break up the monotony of highway driving and help pass the miles. It’s relatively easy to see license plates from the state you’re traveling in or even neighboring states. However, it can be exciting to spot license plates from Hawaii or Alaska, especially if you’re not traveling in those states.

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How Does the License Plate Game Work? 

There are several variations of the game. You can play the game as individuals or as a team, but the primary mission is to spot as many license plates as possible during your trip. Whichever way you choose to play, you can have a tremendous amount of fun.

If you’re playing as individuals, you’ll need to list all 50 states and then keep track of which person spots which license plates. The person at the end of the travel day with the most points is the winner. Playing as a team, check off the states as you see them and work together to try to see all 50 states.

Depending on your reason for traveling, you can make the game last for the duration of your adventures until you see all 50 states or for a single travel day. The game is very fluid and is adaptable for practically any travel scenario.

Boy looking out the car window on a road trip.
Keep your kids entertained on long road trips by playing the license plate game.

How Do You Keep Score for the License Plate Game?

All you’ll need to keep score for this game is a pen/pencil and a piece of paper. If you don’t have a blank sheet of paper, the back of a junk piece of paper will work just fine. You’ll want to write all 50 states on paper and start crossing them off with the pencil as you spot them.

However, some marketing departments have jumped at the opportunity to create physical game pieces for this famous road trip game.

These puzzle-like games come with 50 pieces to help mark off states as you see them. The convenient map features the state capitals, which can help kids learn while also playing the license plate game.

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Is There a License Plate Game App? 

If you’re wondering if there’s an app for the license plate game, we have good news! You can find License Plate Game apps for Android and Apple. No matter what type of phone or tablet you use, there’s a good chance you’ll find multiple versions of this game.

One great thing about these apps is that they can provide a generous amount of information about each state. You can often see the state’s capital, its nickname, motto, the year it was admitted as a state, state bird, and even the state flower. This can be a great way to educate kids and adults.

The license plate game app on your phone makes it even easier to play. You won’t have to worry about writing out all the states, and anyone with a phone or tablet can keep track of their score. It also makes it simple to pick up the game where you left off on a previous journey or adventure.

Person happily driving on road trip at sunset.
Make memories while road tripping by playing fun games.

What Are Other Road Trip Games? 

As road trips grew popular, so did parents’ creativity to entertain rambunctious children. Games like 20 Questions and the Alphabet Game are two of the best activities you can play on any road trip.

To play 20 Questions, each person in the car takes a turn thinking of something. The rest of the car asks 20 questions to figure out what the person is thinking. It’s as simple as that and is playable practically anywhere.

The Alphabet Game is also a popular and easy-to-play game. The goal is to start at the beginning of the alphabet and work your way through it by finding words that begin with that letter. You can use words on signs, billboards, and businesses, but you can’t use license plates. Like the License Plate Game, you can play this as individuals in the car or as a team.

Is the License Plate Game Worth Playing On a Road Trip?

Sometimes you’ll do just about anything to entertain yourself and others during a road trip. The License Plate Game, and many other road trip activities, are well worth playing to keep everyone happy. Road trip games are the perfect medicine for bad attitudes while traveling.

Bad moods can be contagious and quickly cause your trip to go south if left unchecked. If you’re looking for a way to fight boredom on your next adventure, give the License Plate Game a try!

What’s your favorite road trip game to play? Tell us in the comments below!

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