This is a post-1987 Angola production series generic "USA" sybtype, Louisiana's first graphic. The state name and the logo are screened onto the plate, and no longer embossed as previously. This particular plate could have been initially issued in November 1988. Either someone moved into Louisiana at that time, or an existing resident purchased a new car or acquired another one.

As with all rolling changes, these USA variants were only available to new registrants. Previous black, worlds fair, and generic blue plates continued to be renewed for additional terms. Previously, the 1973-manufactured Bayou State dated plates, 1979-made undated Sportsman's Paradise types, the 1983 worlds fair types, and 1984 generic blues constituted sub variants that still could be renewed with stickers. Eventually all were eliminated either through attrition or replacement during the 1996-2007 term but 'AAA-000-ZZZ-999' series "lipsticks."

The troop E number block for the Worlds Fair ended at 250E.... After the Fair plates were exhausted, generic blue plates continued with the Sportsman's Paradise logo three to four more years, October 1984 through at least December 1987.

The "USA" subvariant became available in 1988. It was Louisiana's first "graphic" plate. In addition to being multi-color, it also had two pelican families in the upper corners. The pelican family was taken from the state's flag. The USA series, according to Eric Tanner, ranged from a low of 312E--- to a high of 405E....

Normally Louisiana renewed with a two year sticker, but starting in January 1987 and lasting three years, a four year sticker was sold. This was in order to raise cash for the OMV and the state treasury. This affected both the earlier plates that were being renewed, but particularly the blue generics and subsequent USA types that would have been the initial issuance tags during this period. The state returned to a two year sticker in January 1990, although for a while there was still an option to purchase a four year one if the registrant desired to do so.

Apparently the USA plates were phased in for new registrants as needed, when older plate stock was used up. It may not have happened at the same time in all parts of Louisiana. South Louisiana was being devastated by an economic crash at the time, and contrary to the norm, did not sell as many plates as expected. North Louisiana was less affected, and may have started using USA plates sooner.

Early USA plates were sold with 1992 expiration stickers in 1988. A 1989 plate had a 1993 sticker as does this example. Yet if someone purchased a two year plate in 1990, it would have expired in 1992, overlapping with the earlier sales. Some 1989 plates had initial validity for a longer period than did those issued in 1990 or 1991! Stickers for 1989 and 1990 expirations ended up being produced in much fewer numbers.

Beginning in 1992, a "lipstick" series with a AAA-000 style of registration number was brought into the mix for new registrants, most of those expiring in 1994. That series is still underway, reaching the ZZZ end of series prefixes in 2015. As the state was able to, earlier state police troop plates were phased out, mostly starting in 1995, and ending by 2007. Today, the older style registrations, at least in theory, only appear on year of manufacture plates for vintage vehicles.