State wants new look for license plates - FOX 13 News

State wants new look for license plates

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TALLAHASSEE (FOX 13) -

Florida is making plans to produce a new license plate, and drivers may get a chance to pick the winner.

Right now, there are several prototypes under consideration with variations of green stripes or accents, but all are flat plates with solid black letters.

The new plate would dump county names and replace them with "Sunshine State" or "In God We Trust."

The goal is to make Florida's new license plate more readable for police and cameras.

It's estimated that Florida loses millions of dollars every year at toll booths and intersections when cameras cannot read the plates of violators.

The leader of Florida's Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles says in this year alone, red light cameras missed about three million license plates because they were unreadable.

Julie Jones says the current plates raised lettering is making it harder for police and cameras to read the tag.

"For an example, just in the period from January this year until August, we had 2.8 million unreadable tags in the red light camera process with multiple cities across the state. These were because tags were marred, but also because a lot of cameras have difficulty reading the difference between S's, 8's, V's, and Y's," Jones said.

Jones said several variations are under consideration.

The cost of the redesigned plate is estimated at $31 million. Jones says there will be no cost to drivers because she's finding efficiencies in the manufacturing and distribution process to help save money on the process

One cost-saving measure would allow you to order your plate from a state website and have it mailed directly to your home.

Jones will ask Gov. Rick Scott and members of the Florida Cabinet on October 23 for permission to go ahead with the license plate redesign. If they approve it, then Floridians will get the chance to vote online for their favorite sample plate at the end of November.

Then the issue would go to the Legislature for approval next year. Jones says the plan is to roll out the new license plates starting in 2014 and continuing through 2015.

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