Texas to nix specialty plates that sell poorly

Texas Motor Speedway license plate. (MyPlates.com)
Texas Motor Speedway license plate. (MyPlates.com)

AUSTIN (AP) — State officials plan to eliminate dozens of specialty license plates, such as those advertising Texas Motor Speedway and Dr Pepper, because they’ve failed to generate enough interest.

The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles now requires that plates have at least 200 users and at least that many orders before it authorizes any new specialty plates.

There are five-dozen plates that likely will be phased out starting next year, according to The Dallas Morning News.

The crackdown is driven by police complaints about a glut of confusing tags that began five years ago when the state’s exclusive vendor began customized sales.

DMV has approved about 120 plates and rejected five.

The vendor, My Plates, has agreed to rebate at least $25 on orders for plates that may be pulled. A personalized tag with a special background starts at $85 for one year.

My Plates has sold more than 185,000 specialized tags, generating $23 million in state revenue, the Morning News reports.

DMV authorities are studying whether to impose further restrictions to curtail graphics and designs that clutter plates.

For the time being, some groups say there’s not much they can do to stimulate sales and keep their plates in circulation.

The State of Texas Alliance for Recycling created its plate to raise money and awareness. It’s white and green, with the recycling symbol, and has 84 registered users.

Plate sales just don’t bring in enough money “to be able to justify staff time to get the word out or advertise as much as it would need to be,” spokeswoman Sara Nichols said.

Many of the plates lagging in sales showcase out-of-state universities. Schools generally get part of the proceeds in return for My Plates using their images.

They include: South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Arizona, Indiana, Boise State and Illinois.

Others lagging behind are: Highland Park ISD, Allen Eagles, Fort Worth Zoo and the Coppell Cowboys

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