Kentucky Press News Service
FRANKFORT – Kentucky residents now have two new license plate options for their vehicles. Released April 1, specialty plates for the Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Life and the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Foundation, featuring an image of the smallmouth bass, are available for purchase.
Beyond the state’s standard “Unbridled Spirit” and “In God We Trust” license plates, Kentucky offers more than 100 specialty plates, most of which promote a cause and enable nonprofit organizations to receive donations from the public. Those purchasing a specialty plate can donate up to $10 to the organization it represents. The money is passed directly to the organization.
“Our specialty plate program has paved the way for many groups to get their mission out in front of the traveling public,” Rodney Kuhl, commissioner of the Department of Vehicle Regulation in the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC), said in a news release. “In addition, the specialty plates allow Kentucky drivers a chance to donate to a favorite cause and show their support for an organization.”
Kentucky offers dozens of plates promoting everything from military service and love of nature to coal and horses. Any owner of a non-commercial motor vehicle under 10,000 pounds required to be registered for use on Kentucky highways can purchase a specialty plate at the county clerk’s office in their county of residence. Costs vary. A complete list of plates and their prices is available at http://mvl.ky.gov.
The smallmouth bass and Trust For Life specialty plates offer the public two more options for supporting nonprofit organizations. The cost of purchase for either plate is $34. In addition, those purchasing the plates can donate up to $10 to the circuit clerks’ Trust For Life fund or the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Foundation, accordingly.
“Kentucky’s first-ever Donate Life special license plate encourages motorists to put the mission, ‘Organ, Eye and Tissue Donation Saves Lives,’ into perspective. This statement illustrates the grandeur of what a simple ‘YES’ at the driver’s license office has the ability to do,” said Shelley Heavrin Snyder, executive director for Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Life. “Similarly, it gives passionate individuals the opportunity to publicly show their support for this worthy cause. If more people know about and support the lifesaving mission of donation, more lives will be saved. We are so grateful for the opportunity to share this message with everyone on the road.”
“Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s smallmouth bass license plate commemorates the world record smallmouth caught in Kentucky waters by David L. Hayes in 1955 from Dale Hollow Lake,” said Chad Miles, the foundation’s executive director. “Donations to the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Foundation fund youth fishing projects in the Commonwealth. Kentucky is blessed with so many fishing opportunities throughout the state, with 123 lakes exceeding 50 acres in size. Kentucky possesses 220,832 acres of fishing water with 4,125 miles of shoreline.”
Before a specialty license plate goes into production, the state requires organizations to submit an application outlining the mission of the organization and the way in which donations from the plate will be used. Once the application and plate design are approved, the organization is required to gather the signatures of 900 people who pay $25 each in advance for a plate. Once the plates are available, those 900 people receive a $25 credit when they order the plate at a county clerk’s office. For an additional $25, a specialty plate can be personalized.
For more information on Trust For Life, visit http://www.trustforlife.org. For more information on Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Foundation, visit www.kentuckywildlife.com.
On the way are plates honoring the various U.S. military academies – with release expected by June 1 for passenger vehicles and motorcycles. Plates will be available for the U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, U.S. Military Academy at West Point and U.S Air Force Academy.
Eligibility is restricted to academy graduates and current students. If unsure of eligibility, contact Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs at (502) 564-9203 or 1-800-572-6245.
Military academy plates will have a mandatory contribution fee of $5. All donations go to the Veterans Trust Fund. For more information, visit http://veterans.ky.gov/.
In addition, a Gold Star Sibling plate will also be released on June 1. To receive the plate, the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs will provide a letter of qualification to the customer who will then provide the letter to the clerk. For more information on how to obtain eligibility, visit http://veterans.ky.gov/otherprograms/Pages/goldstar.aspx.