What Does K Z Mean On An Idaho License Plate?

K Z on an Idaho license plate stands for Kootenai County. It’s a unique designation for vehicles registered in that county. Each county in Idaho has its code on license plates. Kootenai County’s code happens to be K Z.

Have you ever seen a license plate with the letters K and Z and wondered what they mean? Interestingly, K Z on an Idaho license plate indicates that the vehicle is registered in Kootenai County. This code is part of a unique system Idaho uses to identify the county of vehicle registration.

Kootenai County and the K Z Identifier

Delving into the story of Idaho’s license plate codes, particularly “K Z” for Kootenai County, reveals a blend of administrative ingenuity and regional pride. The genesis of this system dates back to when Idaho decided to implement a county-based identification system for vehicle registration. This approach streamlined the vehicle registration process and fostered a sense of local identity, all while ensuring you can fix a bent license plate.

Kootenai County, represented by “K Z,” is located in northern Idaho and is known for its stunning natural landscapes, including Coeur d’Alene Lake. This county is a hub for outdoor activities and possesses a rich cultural and historical heritage. The “K Z” code on a license plate is not just a bureaucratic tool; it symbolizes the connection of the vehicle’s owner to this vibrant region.

What are Idaho license plates, and why do I need them?

What are Idaho license plates, and why do I need them

Idaho license plates are essential for vehicle identification, roadway legal operation, and state revenue. They have been a part of Idaho’s history since 1909, when vehicle registration began. The first state-issued plates appeared in 1913, evolving in design and function.

A notable feature of Idaho plates is the inclusion of county codes, introduced in the 1930s. These codes help identify the vehicle’s county of registration. Over the years, the plates have showcased various slogans and designs, including “Famous Potatoes” and depictions of Idaho’s natural beauty.

Today, Idaho offers many license plate designs catering to different interests and affiliations. These include standard plates, disability plates, specialty plates (like classic car plates, veteran plates, and plates representing various organizations and causes), and personalized plates. When you purchase special interest plates or perform an Idaho license plate lookup, part of the fee contributes to the represented organization.

Idaho license plate laws

Idaho license plate laws require vehicles to display two license plates, one at the front and one at the rear, except for motorcycles and trailers, which need only one at the rear. Plates must be visible and unobstructed. The state issues special plates for various groups, including the military, colleges, and causes. 

Personalized plates are available for an additional fee. New residents must register their vehicles within 90 days of moving to Idaho. Registration renewal is annual, with the option to renew online for convenience. Penalties apply for non-compliance with these regulations.

What is the KZ car code?

The “KZ” car code is a vehicle registration code assigned to a specific region or area. For example, in the context of Idaho license plates, “KZ” is the code used for vehicles registered in Kootenai County. Here’s a simple table illustrating this.

KZKootenai County, Idaho

Each region or country has its system for vehicle registration codes, so “KZ” might have different meanings in different places. In Idaho, it explicitly identifies a vehicle registered in Kootenai County.

What is on Idaho license plates?

Idaho license plates typically feature the state’s famous slogan, “Famous Potatoes,” reflecting its renowned potato industry. The standard plate design includes a graphic of mountains, symbolizing Idaho’s rugged landscape. Each plate has a unique combination of letters and numbers for vehicle identification. 

There’s a county designation indicated by a code, like “KZ” for Kootenai County. Idaho offers various specialty plates for causes, universities, and military service. Personalized plates are available, too. The plates must be displayed on both the front and rear of the vehicle, except for motorcycles and trailers, which require only a rear plate.

How do you read a license plate in Idaho?

Reading an Idaho license plate involves a few key elements. At the top, you’ll find “IDAHO” written prominently. Below this, the plate displays a sequence of letters and numbers, which is the vehicle’s unique identifier. On the left, there’s a graphic, often depicting mountains, representing Idaho’s landscape. 

The bottom features the slogan “Famous Potatoes.” The plate includes a county code, like “KZ” for Kootenai County, often found on the bottom corner. These elements combined provide vehicle and regional identification specific to Idaho.

What county in Idaho is 1T?

The county code “1T” on a license plate in Idaho signifies Ada County. Ada County is a significant and populous region in Idaho, with Boise, the state capital, located within its boundaries. This coding system is unique to Idaho, where each county is assigned a specific code that appears on license plates. These codes help identify the county where the vehicle is registered. As a significant county, Ada County is easily recognizable by its “1T” code on Idaho license plates.

Idaho license plate options

Idaho license plate options

Idaho offers a variety of license plate options to its vehicle owners. These options include standard plates, disability plates, personalized plates, and a range of specialty plates. Each category serves different purposes and caters to other interests or needs.

1. Standard Plates: These are the regular license plates issued for passenger vehicles, non-commercial trucks, motorhomes, mobile homes, boats, trailers, and motorcycles. Standard plates can also be personalized according to the owner’s preference.

2. Disability Plates: These plates are available for those who qualify for disabled parking privileges. They are designed to make parking more accessible for individuals with disabilities.

3. Specialty Plates: Idaho offers a variety of specialty plates, including classic plates for older vehicles, veteran plates, wilderness plates, and others. These plates often represent specific interests or affiliations and may have certain eligibility requirements.

4. Personalized Plates: Owners can personalize their license plates with a custom combination of letters and numbers. However, Idaho imposes restrictions on the customization to prevent obscene, profane, or prejudicial content.


Idaho’s license plate code system, particularly the “K Z” designation for Kootenai County, is a fascinating intersection of administrative function and regional identity. This system simplifies vehicle registration and identification and fosters a sense of belonging and pride among Idaho’s residents. Each code, including “K Z,” tells a story about its county, reflecting the area’s unique characteristics and culture.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does “K Z” stand for on an Idaho license plate?

“K Z” is the code for Kootenai County, which is located in northern Idaho. It indicates that a vehicle is registered in this county.

Why does Idaho use county codes on license plates?

Idaho uses county codes for efficient vehicle registration and identification. It helps in administrative processes and provides geographical context quickly.

Is the county code system unique to Idaho?

While many states have unique systems for vehicle registration, Idaho’s county code system is notable for its simplicity and effectiveness.

Can you tell the county of every Idaho vehicle by its license plate?

Yes, the county code on Idaho license plates allows you to identify the county of registration for any vehicle.

Do these codes serve any purpose beyond identification?

Beyond identification, these codes symbolize local identity and pride and assist in data collection for state transportation planning.

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