Florida has more than 50 auto tag styles

We may not be able to count chads, but we sure can count license plates - auto tags. In addition to the regular tag, and some variations on it (Pearl Harbor Survivor, Ex-POW, Nat’l Guard, etc.) we have more that fifty “specialty” tags. These tags cost $15 to $25 more than the regular tag, and some of the extra money goes to the sponsoring organization. There are a long list of requirements, but they don’t seem to be stemming the tide of new tags. Go to http://www.hsmv.state.fl.us/specialtytags/ Currently, we have 10 “environment” tags - manatees, dolphins, the Everglades, panthers, etc.; 14 Univeristy tags, one for each of the 10 in the State University System, plus 4 more private schools; 11 for pro sports teams in the state - 3 NFL, 2 each NBA, NHF, MLBaseball, and Arena Football; and 16 “miscellaneous” designs - Challenger (shuttle) memorial, Keep Kids off Drugs, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, the Arts, and so on. For some of these designs, there are multiple versions in circulation, because a new design comes out, but tags stay on cars about 5 years. Also when the University of Fla. or Fla. State U. win National (football) championships, they get a special design for the next year.

Seems to me this makes it really hard for law enforcement, some of the designs are hard to read. But identifying the home state would seem difficult, especially as other states jump on the bandwagon.

Opinions - Is this out of hand? Which of our tags do you like? Dislike?
Me — Like - Florida A&M - really cool rattler
— Dislike - Florida Arts - impossible to read, design has nothing to do with Florida, would be just as at home anywhere.
Suggestion - just give a plate with numbers on it, and a box of crayons.

I’m moving to Florida in a few weeks, and I’ve already decided that I’m getting a plain old license plate, “ORANGE” for the county.

New York has … damn, I’m too tired to count, but more than 50 plates. Way more. (See 'em at http://www.nydmv.state.ny.us/cplates.htm )
At least the specialty plates share a similar design theme, so you know they’re New York plates. However, I’ve got a problem with the fact that you can get specialty plates with subjects that don’t have anything to do with New York. You can get a Texas Rangers plate, plates for all the NASCAR drivers (c’mon, it’s New York, not North Carolina), or a Penn State plate. (Surprisingly, you can’t get a plate with the logo of any of the 15 or so colleges and universities in the Buffalo area.) When I was living there, I had a special Niagara Frontier/Erie County plate,

By the way, I don’t know if the OP’s handle of planmanapplies or not, but I’m going to be the town planner for a suburb of Orlando. :slight_smile:

Well, in Texas, I count a total of http://www.dot.state.tx.us/insdtdot/orgchart/vtr/reginfo/spplates/specplat.htm"]90 specialty plates*, including Lone Star Proud plates, Girl Scout plates, “And Justice For All” plates (the one I have), Texas Parks and Conservation plates (a horned lizard, can ya believe it), Pearl Harbor Survivor plates (really, how many of those can there even BE anymore), and colleges, colleges, colleges! It’s all about being “distinctive”, I guess.

[Edited by TVeblen on 01-28-2001 at 02:49 AM]

Apparently they are “upgrading” the Florida website (MyFlorida.com) that the license plate list comes from, so it will be unavailable today (Super Sunday).

Wish Fla. would adopt the practice of New York and Texas, and use a common design element, no matter what picture is on the tag. Thanks to Max Torque and elmwood for sharing.

elmwood… congrats on your new job in the land of the “worlds” … and, you’re right, my nom de Board applies … I’m a transportation planner with the Fla. Dept. of Transportation (no, the tags come from another state agency - Hwy. Safety and Motor Vehicles) up in Jacksonville (home of the 2005 Superbowl).

I love the tampa bay estuary tags, protect wild dolphins tags, protect endangered panthers and the challenger tag (don’t know if that one is still in production). My least favorite tag is the controvesial “Choose Life” tag. This is a political area that the DMV should not enter. Also think the Boy Scout tags were a big waste of money, due to their low sales. I also think that it is a shame that purple heart and pow tag owners should have to pay a larger yearly fee, they have already earned their vanity tag due to their sacrifice to their country.

I have the “Saving Sea Turtles” tag on my ‘good’ car, the “Floria Loves Veterans” tag on my ‘animal transport’ car.
I used to have the nice “Save the Panther” tag (the picture that looked like a real panther, not an “emaciated kittycat”. The “Manatee” plate looks like the poor thing has appedicitis!
Yes, the “Arts” tag is too hard to read. Yes, the “Choose Life (Adoption)” tag is controversial (and annoyingly ugly). “Protect the Children” looks like it was drawn by a 5-year old. Couldn’t someone make the “Go Fishing” tag and the “Indian River Lagoon” a little less similar? And whe did we get a “bicycle” tag???
Likely I’ll get the “Conserve Wildlife/Black Bear” and “Everglades” tags next renewal. I really don’t want people to know what county I am from, especially when I am driving in a different county. Also, the orange on the state tags looks like a badly drawn peach!
Believe it or not, several have been taken off the market - there was one for the “Miami Hooters” (sponsored by the restaurant) Arena League Football at one time. And FIU used to have a nice picture of a Burrowing Owl on the tag.

hey elmwood, what suburb of Orange County? And drop an e-mail when you are settled in. Any excuse for a Florida DopeFest, especially one I can actually attend!

diamud - the original Challenger tag - showing a launch, with lots of orange - has been replaced by a shuttle in flight - mostly black and white.

screech-owl - A big AMEN on the orange looking like a poorly drawn peach, my daughter made that observation when they first came out. Another problem with the “Choose Life” tag - the colors: black on yellow - the same as the tags issued to vehicles at all levels of government (except the feds). Doesn’t anybody in Tallahassee think about this stuff (I include the unreadable Arts tag here, too.)

My thought - all tags would have the same basic design, with the map of Florida; then, instead of the ugly peach (er, …orange) the logo of whatever the sponsor/honoree is “floating” over the map.

My tags: one “teacher” (guess what the wife does), and 2 normal - tho’ I’m thinking about “upgrading” at renewal time, just cause I hate that stupid looking orange.

Virginia has a similar number. Mainly colleges and military branches. And of course “Tobacco Heritage”. I wonder if they plan to release a lung cancer awareness tag.

Welcome to Florida, elmwood. I have the generic plate and so does hubby. I also wondered if the many, many (way too many) tag choices makes it difficult on law enforcement. I’ll ask my wonderful stepdad. He’s a police officer.


Oakland where?

It’s a tiny little town (but facing intense development pressure), tucked in between Winter Garden (not Winter Park, Winter Springs or Winter Haven) and Clermont. Have a look at this map to see exactly where the place is.

I start work on the February 15th – right noow, I’m running myself ragged making the final touches on the remodeling to the house in Denver, so it’s presentable for sale.

(I’ll eventually be buying a house in either Oakland itself, Winter Garden, Ocoee or west Orlando.)


Oakland where?

It’s a tiny little town (but facing intense development pressure), tucked in between Winter Garden (not Winter Park, Winter Springs or Winter Haven) and Clermont. Have a look at this map to see exactly where the place is.

I start work on the February 15th – right now, I’m running myself ragged making the final touches on the remodeling to the house in Denver, so it’s presentable for sale.

(I’ll eventually be buying a house in either Oakland itself, Winter Garden, Ocoee or west Orlando.)

That’s funny, elmwood! I used to live in Winter Haven myself. Now I live in Bartow, another small town facing intense development pressure. It’s the county seat, but is still a small town. They are planning a residential complex just outside of what is now city limits with 5500 homes from what I’ve heard. That is going to be very hard on our small town. I’ve seen a model of the place and it will be nice, but the growing pains are going to be incredible, I fear.

I have a Panther tag on my car, and my mom has a Manatee tag on hers. I think that maybe to go along with the controversial “Choose Life” plate we should have a Confederate flag plate with “The War of Northern Agression” along the bottom, just so that everybody could properly express themselves through their plates. :rolleyes:

One other thing I’ve noticed, paticularly with UF fans, not so much with FSU.

Little mascot stickers stuck in the middle of the plate (I’ve always seen the UF mascot - the standing gator with the sweater and nasty look, very rarely the Seminole head from FSU). When we had only the outline of the state (in green or orange), it was interesting. Now with the peac, er, orange there, it looks like the critter is wearing a halo.

In Conn., it’s surprisingly easy to get your own design put out. All you need is a non-profit organization and commitments for 200 plates. I think that’s a stunningly low number. Even more amazing, you can get by with a commitment for less, you just have to pay an add’l fee. So your little club could get their own license plates! I’m really surprised there aren’t more random plates out there.
Details: http://dmvct.org/sip.htm

They also have an NRA plate, with their seal in the middle.

(With the plates with seals, they either left justify the seal and put the message to the right, or if there’s a space, they’ll center the seal and put the text on either side of it)

I used to work in the same building as NRA HQ. One smartie there picked the NRA plate along with the message “GL CK”. Of course, it looks like “GLOCK” with the seal in the middle. :rolleyes:

I collect license plates (we even have an organization-- http://www.alpca.org ) and for some reason, most collectors I see at our “meets” eat these new tag designs right up. That Florida Challenger tag was worth its weight in gold when it was brand new and now they’re cheap. I am more of the “less is more” school of thought. I like the nice old embossed plates that you could actually read from more than five feet away. There you go, I’m a curmudgeon at 28!

This proliferation of license plate designs has also been a nuisance to police, who have to keep up with the designs and also have to deal with certain designs that are illegible (the pennsylvania one with the locomotive comes to mind…) Also, they have to deal with eyewitnesses who say “well, the driver’s plate was kind of orangey with some kind of triangular shape on one side and some green in the corner…”

My state (Virginia) has a lot of plates, but at least most of them are white with some kind of logo off to the side where there’s no text. However, they did have to pull the original “autumn leaves” design because the decorations made the letters & numbers unreadable. And the new george washington one looks like it’s been cancelled at the post office.

A bit of a hijack, but what is the law on modifying license plates? a few years back, in the State of maine, people were applying a sticker to their licesne plates-which changed the logo from “VACATIONLAND” to “TAXATIONLAND”. The state police were then ticketing these people for defacement! What the hell! You pay for these things-you should own them! Why can’t you rent the plate as advertising, and make some money yourself off them?

I’m with you, malden. Bring back the days when we could tell a state from a long way off…
I can’t imagine why they let the things – which are made for identification purposes – become impossible to identify.