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Gov. DeSantis signs bill welcoming dozens of new speciality license plates

Good news for War Eagle, Crimson Tide and Georgia Bulldog fans.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill on Friday which, among other things, will introduce dozens of new specialty license plates onto the road.

The bill, sponsored by former Rep. Jamie Grant, paves the way for 32 new specialty license plates, establishes a cap of 150 specialty license plates and formalizes a discontinuation process for low performing specialty license plates.

HB 1135 also authorizes the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to issue specialty license plates for fleet and motor vehicle dealer vehicles.

Among the new plates to soon hit Florida roads: a redesigned Special Olympics tag; a “Live the Dream” license plate, an “In God We Trust” tag and a “Don’t Tread on Me” Gadsden flag plate.

Other specialty tags include a Fallen Law Enforcement officer plates, “Beat Childhood Cancer” and a “Donate Life” tag.

Notably, the bill will also create specialty plates for out-of-state universities for the first time in state history.

The featured out-of-state university tags include the University of Georgia, Auburn University and the University of Alabama. Also on the sporting front are plates for the Dan Marino Foundation and the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.

During the Session, Sen. Perry Thurston introduced an amendment to the bill to recognize the “Divine Nine,” a national collection of majority African American fraternities and sororities. The “Divine Nine” plate is included in the signed bill.

The new law will require the DHSMV to discontinue certain specialty license plates if registration falls below 3,000 plates for 12 consecutive months. The threshold for out-of-state college or university license plates, however, is 4,000. In-state institutions and professional sports teams are immune to the requirements.

DeSantis signed the bill on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, a Jewish holiday. To the glee of those observing Rosh Hashanah and others, the measure also created a “Florida Stands with Israel” specialty auto tag.

The “Florida Stands with Israel” tag was originally submitted to the House in a separate bill co-sponsored by House Minority Leader Kionne L. McGhee and Rep. Scott Plakon.

Both lawmakers celebrated the bipartisan success.

“This shows that our relationship with the State of Israel touches upon many of Florida’s most vital interests, values, and ideals,” the pair said in a joint statement. “Accordingly, the overwhelming majority of Floridians support this special relationship and now have a wonderful way to celebrate it.”

Plakon in a separate statement recognized the plate’s symbolic passage.

“I cannot think of a sweeter way to wish Florida’s Jewish community a Shana Tova – Happy New Year!” he added.

There are currently over 120 specialty license plates available to drivers in Florida, according to a bill analysis.

The annual use fee associated with specialty plates are distributed by the DHSMV to designated organizations in support of a particular cause or charity.

A full list of new plates can be found online.

Written By

Jason Delgado covers news out of the state capital for Florida Politics. After a stint with the U.S. Army, Jason attended the University of Central Florida where he studied American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. Throw him a line at jason@floridapolitics.com or on Twitter at @JasonDelgadoFL.

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