3 Arizona specialty license plates netted more than $1M in past year

Aug 12, 2021, 4:35 AM | Updated: 9:03 am
(Twitter photo/ @ArizonaDOT)...
(Twitter photo/ @ArizonaDOT)
(Twitter photo/ @ArizonaDOT)

PHOENIX — Arizonans showcasing their interests with specialty license plates resulted in millions of dollars going to charitable organizations in the state in the past year, with three license plates netting at least $1 million each.

Specialty plates for veterans, first responders and the Arizona Cardinals each topped more than $1 million in revenue, the Arizona Department of Transportation said in a press release, marking the first time in the department’s history three plates have brought in that much money.

Over the past fiscal year that ended on June 30, more than $10.7 million in revenue was generated for charities throughout the state.

“Specialty plates are a great way for Arizonans to show off their interests, experiences, sports fandom or school pride,” Eric Jorgensen, Motor Vehicle Division director, said in the release.

“Even better, every person who requests a specialty plate is raising money for charities in Arizona.”

There are more than 60 specialty plates to choose from, according to the release, with more set to be added later this year.

Plates can be viewed and ordered online.

People can order specialty plates representing state universities, major sports teams or Valley sporting events, various community services or organizations and plates that support military service.

The veterans specialty plate was the most popular for Arizona motorists in the past year, according to the release.

The plates brought in more than $1.8 million for programs supported by the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services, with other veteran-related plates – including Women Veterans, Gold Star Family and Military Support (Freedom) plates – combining to raise $2.8 million for veteran services that is carried out by nonprofits throughout the state.

“From homelessness to suicide prevention, employment, COVID-19 relief and more, the specialty plates not only help meet essential veteran needs, but also honor their service,” Retired Air Force Col. Wanda Wright, Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services director, said in the release.

Specialty plate options are added when a state lawmaker proposes a specialty plate that in nearly every case supports a nonprofit group, according to the official website.

Once it is approved by both houses of the Arizona state Legislature and signed by the governor, the nonprofit pays a $32,000 fee for production and implementation of the new plate as the state does not cover any of the costs of new specialty plates.

A mockup is then designed and must be approved by law enforcement officials, the nonprofit and the MVD director before it goes on sale.

Most specialty plates cost $25 per year, with $17 going to support the nonprofit sponsoring the plate, according to the official website.

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3 Arizona specialty license plates netted more than $1M in past year