Plethora of Plates

Lawmakers are also considering ways to slow the flood of new plates each year and weed out the ones that aren't selling.

Florida State Senator Larcenia Bullard has been trying for four years to create a specialty license plate honoring Martin Luther King. She says the tag would be one small way to send a big message.

There are about a dozen specialty tags under consideration by lawmakers this spring, but legislators are also looking at stemming the tide of new tags. They want to double the required number of motorists pledging to buy one to 30,000. Tags that don't sell at least 1,000 in a year would also be discontinued, which appeals to highway safety director Fred Dickinson.

“We're just hoping that the people understand if they're not big sellers, maybe we ought to revisit what we're doing here,” says Dickson.

Florida now has 88 specialty plates in circulation, but there are actually six other states with more specialty plates than Florida.

The proliferation of plates creates a problem for police who often complain it's hard to tell whether a car is even from Florida. Jeb Bush jokes motorists might want to settle for the standard-issue tag.

“The one with the orange blossom and the orange and the myflorida.com on the bottom which now is going out, that's become the really cool, elite specialty plate that I encourage people to purchase,” says Gov. Bush.

Still, even critics appreciate the $24.5 million specialty plates raised last year for everything from manatee protection to education, so plan on having even more tags to choose from later this year.

You can check out all the specialty tags currently available by going to myflorida.com and going to the Department of Motor Vehicle and Highway Safety home page.


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