MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — You don’t have to travel far in Wisconsin to see Green Bay Packers license plates, or as WCCO viewer Nancy from Henning calls them “ugly Packer” plates.
She wants to know why the Minnesota Vikings doesn’t have them.
“Every new license plate has to start as a bill in the House,” said Rep. Jim Nash (R-Waconia).
He sponsored legislation on one of the new plates that will be introduced in 2018. It says “See Motorcycles,” and is a pushing for getting people to recognize motorcycle safety on the roads.
Legislation regarding a law enforcement memorial plate and retired law enforcement plate were also passed in the last state legislative session.
Among the plate legislation that was introduced, but not enacted: Rotary International and Veterans of Multinational Peacekeeping in Beirut.
“I think it’ll come down to how many people say ‘I’m going to buy that and put it on my vehicle,'” Nash said.
He pushed his motorcycle plate legislation for three years and credits its passage with tenacity.
“In the past, various chairs aren’t really thrilled with license plate projects” he said. “Many of them think there are too many license plates that we have.”
According to a 2010 legislative report on specialized license plates, one of the biggest objections to more specialized plates is that it could make it more difficult for law enforcement to be able to identify plates.
There are almost 90 specialized Minnesota license plates at the moment. The most popular is the “DNR’s Critical Habitat: Loon,” followed by the “Support Our Troops.”
The specialized plates cost drivers extra to cover production costs. According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, the upfront costs to make new specialty plates that go on sale at DMV offices is about $29,000.
In some cases, an additional $10 to $50 donation is required and goes toward the plate’s cause.
In Wisconsin, the money from the Packer license plates go toward maintaining Lambeau Field.
Researchers at the state legislature say no lawmaker has recently introduced legislation to put a Minnesota sports team on a license plate.