Floridians will get a chance to pick their favorite license plate design starting next week in an online vote from Nov. 26 through Dec. 14.
The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles wants to upgrade the basic Florida plate to a design that increases readability and features a seven-character configuration. The new configuration will allow for more messages on vanity plates. It will also give the state some leeway as it is running out of options for letter and number configurations.
A committee of more than 20 stakeholders, including state agency personnel, law enforcement, tax collectors and affiliated associations, participated in the development of the final license plate designs. DHSMV’s in-house graphics artist created the designs.
Starting Nov. 26, residents can vote www.Vote4FloridaTag.com.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has designed four new license tags, with sleek, smooth surfaces, better readability, and seven characters instead of the traditional six.
As for the plates' additional details, state officials want you to decide.
Florida is setting up a website — Vote4FloridaTag.com — so drivers can pick which plate they prefer. Release of the new plates is not expected until at least 2014.
"We've found out people are really passionate about their license plates," said Kirsten Olsen-Doolan, spokeswoman for the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. "We've gotten phone calls and letters, both to our agency and the governor's office. We wanted to give people an opportunity to weigh in."
A 20-person committee of law enforcement workers and state officials considered dozens of design choices. The four finalists have a citrus flair, with lime green fringe and a leafy Florida orange.
This is the state's first major step toward a redesign since elected officials, in October, protested a proposal by Highway Safety Chief Julie Jones to outsource some of the tags' distribution. Jones was poised to ask the state for $24 million to jumpstart the project, but the unexpected opposition prompted her to delay.
But the change is needed, Olsen-Doolan said.
There are now so many plates on the road, Florida is in danger of running out of character combinations. And the new tags will be more modern, with characters that are flat, rather than raised, so that cameras at toll booths and intersections can read them more easily.