Seven new specialty license plates could start showing up on Iowa vehicles, under a bill recently passed by the Iowa House.
The measure is sparking some debate about how many specialty plates already exist and whether they should be restricted.
Democrat Dennis Cohoon of Burlington says years ago lawmakers asked the Department of Transportation about the matter.
“We talked 15 or 16 years ago about restricting the number of plates or looking at how many we (had) and they told us we had 89 specialty plates with 14 more emblems, so 103 different kinds of plates,” Cohoon said.
The D.O.T. reports there are fewer designs on the road today, but they still number at least 70.
Cohoon suggests the state should perhaps restrict new designs, or eliminate some plates that are outdated. The bill’s sponsor, Republican Dave Tjepkes, says the House Transportation Committee had a long discussion about the proliferation of license plate designs, but decided to make an exception for this year’s requests because of the causes they will benefit.
Among other things, the new plates would recognize Iowa veterans and the families of slain police officers.