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Specialty License Plate Revenue Sets a Record

CONTACT: Robert Sanchez
Public Information Administrator

February 15 , 2002

Florida motorists spent more than $23 million last year buying specialty license plates that support programs ranging from college scholarships to environmental research.

That brought the total revenue raised to $198.3 million in the 15 years since the program began with the Challenger license plate in January of 1987. The 51 specialty plates that are currently on sale cost from $15 to $25 more than a standard license plate.

Last year saw some shuffling in the rankings as the colorful "Protect Wild Dolphins" plate ($25) had 69,323 plates and renewals. It edged into fifth place from sixth in 2000 and 13th two years ago. Meanwhile, however, the ranking of the top four sellers stayed the same. "Protect the Panther" ($25) tightened its grip on first with 113,776 plates and renewals, up from 110,026 in 2000. "Save the Manatee" ($20) held second with 105,291 plates and renewals, down slightly from 106,737 in 2000. The University of Florida ($25) solidified its grip on third with 83,070, while Florida State University clung to fourth with its 69,977, just 654 ahead of the wild dolphins plate. All told, Florida motorists spent $5.5 million on 221,372 tags and renewals in support of academic enhancements at the 10 public universities and four private institutions that have specialty plates.

Sales and revenue for Florida’s original specialty plate, the Challenger, again rose for the fourth consecutive year, but its ranking has dropped from third in 1998, fourth in 1999, and fifth in 2000 to sixth in 2001. The plate’s 59,090 sales and renewals in 2001 raised $1.47 million. Half of the Challenger plate’s revenue goes to the Astronaut Memorial Foundation and half to the Technological Research and Development Authority.

Rounding out the top 10 were No. 7 "Help Sea Turtles Survive" (56,681); No. 8 "Support Education" (39,298); No. 9 "State of the Arts" (36,954); and No. 10 "Tampa Bay Buccaneers" (29,660). Revenues from plates sold bearing the names of professional sports teams go to the Florida Sports Foundation, Inc.

In 2001, the 25 top-selling plates accounted for 90.4 percent of all sales and renewals while the bottom 26 combined accounted for 9.6 percent. A complete list is attached.

2002 Press Releases       DHSMV Press Releases

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