Florida Motorists Fans of Specialty Car Tags

Lawmakers toughened the rules for approving and continuing new license plates this spring, but not before adding ten new tags to the list, but that's okay by Florida motorists.

Florida motorists are all about choice when it comes to specialty license plates. Just ask Carol Moore. She’s sporting her college colors with a Florida State tag.

“Show a little team spirit, and of course, the tag looked good with the garnet car,” Carol says.

Now you’ll also get to live the dream with Martin Luther King or discover Florida’s oceans, just two of 10 new plates approved by lawmakers this spring, but do we really need 98 specialty plates to choose from? Motorist Warren Garrison says bring it on.

“I think the more license plates the better. I enjoy variety and one day I would like to have a FAMU tag,” says Garrison.

But even the legislators who supported the additional specialty plates admit maybe 98 is a little over the top, so they did tighten the rules some. You now need 30,000 people to express interest in the tag to propose it, instead of just 15,000, and if you can’t sell a thousand plates in a year you get a warning notice to pump up the sales.

Bob Sanchez of the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles says, “Some of the smaller college plates are in that category, but no one’s going to yank them until they have a fair chance to be sold. The tag business has become very competitive. This office has posters, table tents, even business-card sized tags, all hoping to convince you to spend an extra 25 bucks.”

Those fees add up to serious cash. Specialty plates have raised more than $225 million for everything from wild dolphins to the Florida Sports Foundation. Gov. Jeb Bush has not received the bill yet that tightens the rules for specialty plates and adds 10 new ones. Once he does he has 15 days to either sign or veto it.