see if i can trace the history of when the government started requiring people to have license plates on their cars and drivers licenses to drive cars


Single auto plate gives state break on costs

The Arizona Republic
Feb. 1, 2003

QUESTION: Why are no front license plates required on cars in Arizona? It's very strange. I've never seen this before.

ANSWER: Since 1989, Arizona has required only one license plate per car, affixed to the rear of the car. Don't knock it. Printing and issuing just one plate saves the state money and leaves a blank space for others who want to show off a personal or decorative plate on the front bumper.

In 1912, when Arizona became a state, license plates were homemade. The state started making plates in 1914.

The scenic "desertscape" plates have been issued since 1995. The maroon-and-white plates you see on vehicles were issued from 1980 to 1997. Copper-and-green plates were issued from 1973 to 1979.

Why the overlap with the maroon and "desertscape" plates? The state had a surplus of 500,000 of the maroon plates and issued only personalized, or "vanity," desertscape plates until the maroon plates ran out in 1997.

Q: When I'm driving I see ponds of water on school fields. Are they wasting water or is that how we're supposed to water our yards in Arizona?

A: Technically, this is how some people water their yards in Arizona. It's called flood irrigation. You pretty much can tell when a neighborhood has irrigation. Homes have big, mature trees and green grass, with yards bound by a small ridge, called a berm.

Phoenix would not have grown into the sixth-largest city in the nation without 1,265 miles of canals. Originally, most of the water in the canals was for irrigating crops. However, as houses, schools and businesses replaced citrus groves and cotton fields, the canal water was put to use for landscaping.

More than 26,000 homes in the Valley use flood irrigation. From October to March, water is delivered once a month. From April to September, water is delivered every two weeks.

To learn more about flood irrigation, visit .

Reach the reporter (602) 444-8148.

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