Licence plates have never had an influence on the gameplay elements seen in the Need for Speed series as they are mainly used for aesthetic purposes. Drivable vehicles in Need for Speed games generally only have a Licence Plate installed on their rear bumper.
Need for Speed: High Stakes was the first title in the series to feature licence plates.
Need for Speed: High Stakes & Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed
Licence plates in Need for Speed: High Stakes and Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed feature no customisation options as they only display the player's name.
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2
Licence plates in Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 don't use the player's name. They are replaced with "ND 4 SPD" inscribed on the licence plates of all vehicles featured in the title. Vehicles feature American or EU licence plates.
Need for Speed: Most Wanted
Licence Plates in Need for Speed: Most Wanted were slightly changed. They feature the inscription "NFSMW". On the left of each Licence Plate is a small symbol as well as "NeedforSpeed" illustrated again and "City of Rockport" below the main lettering.
Need for Speed: Carbon
Licence plates in Need for Speed: Carbon have "CARBON" written instead of "NFSMW".
The "City of Rockport" inscription has been replaced by "City of Palmont" and the logo on the left hand side has been replaced by "11" and "NFS".
Need for Speed: ProStreet
The licence plates in Need for Speed: ProStreet replaced the old writing with "PROSTREET".
Need for Speed: Undercover
"ND 4 SPD" was used as the Licence Plate typing for Need for Speed: Undercover. It was last used in Hot Pursuit 2 although every vehicle has a US plate.
It also includes a short inscription stating "Tri City Bay" as this the region in which Need for Speed: Undercover takes place.
Need for Speed: World
Need for Speed: World features default plates with a large Need for Speed logo with "NEED FOR SPEED" written above it.
It is also the first title in the series to allow players to customise the Licence Plate of their owned vehicles. Custom licence plates were added on March 15th, 2011 as well as being made purchasable from the player's safehouse.
The range is split between those that can be bought with Speedboost and those that can be bought with ingame Cash. There are also special plates that are only available with specific vehicles.
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010)
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010) reuses the "ND 4 SPD" Licence Plate writing for Racer vehicles similar to the plates seen in Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 and Need for Speed: Undercover.
SCPD vehicles also have "ND 4 SPD" inscribed on them but also include special federal markings.
Need for Speed: The Run
Most Signature Edition vehicles and rival cars in The Run have special customised licence plates.
Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012)
Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012) features an assortment of licence plates that each have a unique style and an alternative method of being unlocked by the player.
The alternative designs do not appear on vehicles and are featured exclusively on the player's profile and to rivals that have been taken down by the player in multiplayer lobbies.
Need for Speed: Rivals
Need for Speed: Rivals allows Racers and Cops to customise their licence plate background and edit the written text up to a maximum of 7 characters. An unedited licence plate is inscribed with "GHOST".
Backgrounds for racers are based off cities and counties from previous Need for Speed titles while cops have access to backgrounds based off other police departments from previous titles. The default templates are the Redview County for racers and the RCPD for cops.