Florida Specialty License Plates Online
The chairman of the Florida Senate’s Transportation committee has filed legislation aimed at making it more difficult to create specialty license plates – and reduce the number of existing specialty plates.
State Sen. Jeff Brandes, a St. Petersburg Republican, filed the bill (SB 1390) on Wednesday.
The state’s Department of Motor Vehicles and Highway Safety now lists 124 approved and available specialty plates. At present, groups in Florida that propose a new specialty plate must “pre-sell” 1,000 of them in a two-year period before they will be manufactured. Brandes’ measure would increase that number to 4,000 plates. If the goal is not met, the proposed specialty plate “is deauthorized.”
His bill would also discontinue any existing specialty plate that falls below 4,000 issued in a period of 12 consecutive months. That number is now 1,000.
In 2013, more than 137,000 specialty tags were sold and 1.2 million were renewed, creating revenue of nearly $34 million for charities and state agencies, according to the department. This funding would otherwise not be available. Money generated by such plate sales goes to charities or nonprofit institutions. Specialty plates cost $15 to $25 a year above the standard registration fee. Extensive additional fees are also charged by the state and those funds mostly go to the General Revenue fund.
For the 2016 Legislative Session, bills have been filed that would a “Sun Sea Smiles” license plate benefiting the Florida Caribbean Charitable Foundation, a “Support Special Needs Kids” license plate and an Orlando Lions soccer plate.
Texas holds the record with 363 different “specialty, organizational or military license plates,” according to a 2014 tally by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
There would be a significant number of specialty plates de-authorized by this measure, although there will probably be political exceptions to the requirement filed as the bill progresses.