Plates from Aosta have got a special symbol: it's a shield with a lion on two legs inside and it's the coat of arms of Valle d'Aosta. It was introduced in 1947 (pictures from number 1 up to number 10) and all the plates were replaced between 1947 and 1948 starting again from AO 1 (picture number 2); this symbol has been used since then, even if it changed colours and position many times in the past. Not just passenger plates from Aosta have got the plates with the coat of the arms, but also other vehicles: in this site you can find the pictures of the plates for motorcycles, for agricultural vehicles, for trailers and for the vehicles of the State Forestry Corps.
Stefano Paloschi sent me the picture number 11 that shows a plate from Aosta issued between 1985 and 1994 without the typical coat of the arms. Special rules for plates without the symbol are not known and I don't know the exact reason: maybe the paint used for the coat of the arms dissolved or it may be a defect of the factory (note that the letters AO are not placed in the usual place as in the plate in picture 8, but more on the left).
For a long time it was the only region with special graphic on plates, but a coat of the arms has been in use since 1999 also in the provinces of Trento (TN) and Bolzano (BZ): it's an eagle, in black for Trento and in red for Bolzano (pictures number 12 and 13). Moreover some special plates were also introduced for the vehicles of the Firemen, of the Civil Defence and of the State Forestry Corps.
I need to thank Marcello Taverna very much for many of these pictures he sent me and also Adolfo Arena for the picture number 2, Joseph Sallmen for pictures number 6 and Alessandro Libanore for the pictures number 7 and 8: note that they are a pair from Aosta!
Picture 1: Before 1947 without any coat of arms
Picture 2: 1947-1976 (rear, number 1)
Picture 3: 1947-1984 (front)
Picture 4: 1947-1976 (rear)
Picture 5: 1976-1985 (rear in one line)
Picture 6: 1976-1985 (rear in two lines)
Picture 7: 1985-1994 (front)
Picture 8: 1985-1994 (rear)
Picture 9: 1994-1999
Picture 10: 1999-Today
Picture 11: 1985-1994 (without coat of arms)
Picture 13: 1999-Today (Trento)
Picture 12: 1999-Today (Bolzano)