Florida’s specialty license plate portfolio may soon feature over a dozen new additions under a bill advanced Thursday by a Senate Subcommittee.
The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development voted unanimously to advance the proposal (SB 676). Republican Sen. Dennis Baxley of Marion County is the bill sponsor.
If signed into law, the new additions would include:
— Florida State Parks
— Support Healthcare Heroes
— Inter Miami CF
— Gopher Tortoise
— Orlando United
— Biscayne Bay
— Disease Prevention and Early Detection
— Honor Flight
— Ethical Ecotourism
—Protect Marine Wildlife
— Army of Occupation Award
The bill would also amend three license plates: Florida Indian River Lagoon, Wildlife Foundation of Florida, and Divine Nine.
Specialty license plates are available to motorists who are willing to pay fees raging from $15 to $25 in addition to regular taxes and fees. Those extra fees go toward supporting the plate’s charity or cause.
The three amended license plates would modify their respective allocations.
“This is a great way for citizens to be able to contribute to causes that they might never connect to,” Baxley said.
Notably, each specialty plate requires buy-in from the public before coming to fruition.
Within 24 months after presale vouchers become available, at least 3,000 vouchers must be sold before the plate is manufactured.
If a specialty plate does not reach the presale threshold, it will not be manufactured.
Also, the latest specialty plates would join a brimming queue.
Currently, there are 120 specialty license plates available for purchase, and another 33 up for presale vouchers.
The state caps specialty license plates at 150. However, if a license plate is discontinued after 12 consecutive months of poor sales, another specialty plate can take its place.
“You’re basically getting in line with this bill,” Baxley said.
The Army of Occupation Veterans, however, is afforded exception.
The special plate, a separate category from a specialty plate, is only available to service members honored with the award.
The Army of Occupation medal is awarded to service members for 30 days of consecutive service while assigned to select foreign countries as part of an occupying force, according to the U.S. Air Force.
Baxley’s proposal moves next to the Senate Appropriations Committee for a final review before reaching the floor.
If signed into law, the bill would take effect July 1.
Republican Sen. Joe Gruters, meanwhile, is sponsoring a bill that would launch a digital license plate pilot program in Florida this summer.