Decoding ‘XMT’ Washington State Plates

Charger.jpeg

Everyone seems to have a way to spot an undercover cop car.

These days, it’s not so easy. Unmarked Dodge Chargers and other stealthily vehicles used by police for traffic enforcement are hard to spot. Obviously, they do this for a reason — so aggressive speeders won’t see them.

But what about determining which kind of law enforcement you’re receiving a financial spanking from?

The cop’s uniform (click here to read about the different ones) should be a dead giveaway. But if you want to know by simply looking at their vehicle, here’s how:


Law enforcement, like many public agencies in the state, use “exempt” plates on some of their vehicles. In order to figure out if the plate is exempt, look at the left of the regular letters on the plate — it will bear the letters “XMT” vertically.

The last three letters of the plate explains what agency the vehicle is from. I queried the Department of Licensing, and Christine Anthony, a spokeswoman, provided me with a list of the last three letters, and what they represent:

EXC
Counties (e.g. Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office)

EXD
Cities (e.g. Port Orchard, Poulsbo, Bainbridge, Bremerton Police)

EXI
Indian/tribal

EXM
State motor pool

EXS
Washington State Patrol (note: “marked” state troopers generally have “WSP” as the first three letters and their badge identifier as the last three or four)

EXT
State Department of Transportation

EXX
Motorcycles with exemptions (a motorcycle cop, for instance)

EXE
Other state agencies with exempt plates not mentioned above

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Before you post, please complete the prompt below.

Is water a solid or a liquid at room temperature?