As of today, Iowans can go on-line to order a specialty license plate for their vehicle. There are more than 70 plate designs available.
“Those plate designs allow our customers to show their connection to an Iowa college or university or support a cause such as education, the environment or organ and tissue donation,” says Iowa DOT director Paul Tr0mbino. “Customers are also about to express themselves through combinations of letters and numbers on their license plates.”
About 17,000 vehicles in Iowa have a specialty plate or a personalized plate. Trombino expects that number to grow with the convenience of on-line ordering.
“In the past, customers were able to go online and enter personalizations to see what it looked like on a selected plate. However, they were unable to see if that combination was available,” Tr0mbino says. “With the system we are launching today, Iowans can immediately see if their personalization is available and order it in a matter of minutes.”
It takes the DOT about 18 days to process the paper requests for these plates. That processing time is reduced by two weeks if an Iowan orders their plate online. A team of DOT staffers review each word or phrase submitted as a plate design, to check whether the combination might be a profanity.
“These folks are really good at seeing some of the language and some of the potential offensiveness to some of the combinations,” Trombino says.
It costs $90 extra to order a personalized plate, plus there are processing fees. The specialty plates have a range of different fees and some are provided at no cost to recent veterans. The Iowa DOT began offering on-line drivers license renewal a year ago and so far more than 100,000 eligible Iowans have chosen that option rather than walking into a DOT office or their county treasurer’s office to conduct the transaction.