The blue sky and silos on Iowa’s license plates may be giving way to a new design.
Andrea Henry of the Iowa Department of Transportation says the agency is exploring some new options. She admits there are always lots of opinions what to put on the plates to best represent the state.
“Obviously it’s difficult to encompass all that’s great about Iowa into one simple license plate design. What we do is, we are having our designers work on a variety of different designs and present those to the governor,” Henry says. “And if she is okay with that, then we plan to take that out to the public and have them vote on the ultimate final design.”
The state now has several different specialty plates that let you show your support for your favorite college team, or let everyone know you are a teacher or firefighter. But most Iowans still use the standard state plate.
“We have 4.4 million license plates in the state of Iowa on all types of vehicles, and about 4.2 million of those are the standard issue plates,” according to Henry. The current design for the plates was first used 20 years ago. There was a change in the order of the letters on the plates back in 2011.
“That was an issue of having enough combination of numbers. And we also changed the color — that was a production issue — and it also makes it more visible from law enforcement to be able to ready those plates,” Henry says. The letters went from a blue to a black color. Henry says they are hoping to finish the process this fall.
She says they will meet soon with the governor to discuss some draft designs and then would have some finalized designs out for the public to vote on in mid August. Henry says they’ll announce how the voting process works once they have the final design choices selected. New license plates are made by the prisoners at the Anamosa State Penitentiary.