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In the United States, vehicle registration plates, known as license plates, are issued by a department of motor vehicles, an agency of the state or territorial government, or in the case of the District of Columbia, the district government. Some Native American tribes also issue plates. The U.S. federal government issues plates only for its own vehicle fleet and for vehicles owned by foreign diplomats. Until the 1980s, diplomatic plates were issued by the state in which the consulate or embassy was located.
The appearances of plates are frequently chosen to contain symbols, colors, or slogans associated with the issuing jurisdiction. The term license plate is frequently used in statutes, although in some areas tag is informally used. The official three letter DSIT (coinciding with its ISO code) international code attributed to the United States is USA.