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Pushing the envelope?

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I was not aware the government was denying certain groups from participating in the plate program. The purpose of these plate programs is to generate income for the state. It seems a little silly to tell certain groups their money is not wanted. If that's the case it would seem to be discriminatory, denying "unapproved" groups from using the plate program as a fundraising vehicle.


This isn't much different than selling ad space on the city bus. Should only public entities be allowed to advertise? Is the government "supporting" a private enterprise by selling ad space? Should BSA be prohibited from buying an ad on the bus, or from promoting a license plate program?


Personally, I see the whole "vanity" plate program as a sad misdirected waste of societal resources.


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Yes FScouter, the gov't does indeed selectively choose which groups are allowed to have a special plate; it requires an act of the state legislature in most cases to do this. Last I checked, I could not just tell the local office that issues plates that I want my plate to have a cute little logo of my design, advertizing my private group, on my license plate (much less, that I want CASH from any additional plates of this design that are sold to the public).


We are all talking about the standard, official plates right, and not the true "vanity" plates that go on the front of cars in states where no official plates are required on the front?


City bus advertizing is a little different in that groups pay the city bus company to place the ads and advertizing in general is not a gov't monopoly, rather than the gov't paying private groups a portion of the fees collected for a mandatory service (if you want to drive) over which the gov't has complete control.


But, I agree with your general sentiment that govt-issued vanity plates are pretty much a waste of resources!



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In some states it is a simple administrative procedure to get an affinity plate issued. Get a list of prospective people, submit a design and wait for approval from the DMV.


Other states, it has to go through the legistlature.


What amazes me is the commerciality (is that a word?) of some of the plates. I understand alumni association plates, Boy Scout, Girl Scouts, VFW, Rotary, Lions, even Nuke a Gay Whale for Jesus. The really strange ones are NASCAR plates and NFL team plates. I'm pretty sure that neither NASCAR nor NFL are allowing their logos to be used without some sort of licensing fee.

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In our state, the custom plates have become a cash cow for the state. You must apply to the legislature and have 350 PAID applications in hand before the state will start producing them. The Boy Scout plates have never been successful here, so we don't have them. The Sons of Confederate Veterans have one, however. What I don't understand is that the state allows religious messages ... yet they tell us the plates remain the property of the state. GD LVS U


Perhaps a new crusade for Merlyn???

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