Floridians Make Their Choice for New License Plate Design

Design still needs approval from Gov. Scott and Florida Cabinet

Wednesday, Dec 19, 2012  |  Updated 9:00 AM EDT
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Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

The new Florida license plate designs.

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Florida drivers have spoken, and they want a new license plate that features an orange forming the "O'' in "Florida."

The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles gave Floridians a chance to vote online for one of four license plate designs, and after weeks of voting, the top choice narrowly won with 15,441 votes out of 50,124 cast.

The body of the tag is white with black numbers. The word "Florida" is in white lettering on a green stripe across the top. Another green stripe at the bottom has the words "Sunshine State" in white.

Coming in second with 14,875 votes was a white tag with "Florida" in black lettering on the top, an orange in the upper left-hand corner and "Sunshine State" in white lettering on a green bottom stripe.

Florida License Plates May Be Redesigned

The design still needs approval from Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet before it can go into production, possibly in 2014.

Officials want to replace the existing plates because they are difficult for red-light and toll-booth cameras to read. That's due to the raised green numbers and a multicolor image of oranges and orange blossoms on top of a Florida map in the middle of each white tag.

The cameras were unable to read more than 2.8 million tags this year, officials said.

The new plate, regardless of design, will be flat. Also, it will have nothing except black-on-white numbers in the body of the tag.

Fewer Florida Teens Getting Behind the Wheel

The design change will affect only the state's standard license plate. More than 100 specialty tags with everything from manatees to colleges and universities will not be affected.

The agency initially wanted to outsource the manufacture and distribution of the tags, now made in state prisons and distributed by county tax collectors, to a private vendor to cut costs.

The department's executive director, Julie Jones, dropped that idea and said it was because of pressure from the tax collectors and two Cabinet members, Attorney General Pam Bondi and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater.

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