Home » NEWS » Govt/Politics » Specialty car plate sales rise as blue guitars fade to brown
This license plater will be disappearing from Mississippi roads at the end of December.

Specialty car plate sales rise as blue guitars fade to brown

By MARY PEREZ / Sun Herald

“The reissue started in January 2019 and will be completed in December,” said Kaitlin O’Dougherty, spokeswoman for Mississippi Department of Revenue.

That means by the end of the year, “Lucille” will be retired. The blue and white plate, honoring Mississippi musician B.B. King and his guitar Lucille, was issued in October 2012. It stayed around for six years instead of the usual five when the Legislature didn’t provide the money to renew them sooner.

The problem is many people in the state aren’t crazy about the “dirty” brown color and the design of the new plate.

There’s a fix for that _ actually more than 225 options _ and nearly one in four of Mississippi’s 2.9 million vehicles now sports a specialty plate or a vanity plate with a personalized message.

In fiscal year 2018, the state issued 606,000 specialty, military, university or personalized plates. Sales of specialty plates are up 10% from January through August compared to the same time last year, O’Dougherty said.

Part of that increase could be from people who don’t like the standard license plate. Mississippi also issued 13 new specialty plates this year, she said, which may have bumped up the demand.

It can be lucrative to have a specialty plate in Mississippi. The Gulfport School District received $8,400 in the last fiscal year from sales of license plates, the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies raised $38,400, and Infinity Science Center received $194,700 through the sales of New Orleans Saints plates.

The campaign is on for Mississippi Aquarium to have its own license plate even before the attraction opens in April. The Department of Revenue requires 300 tags be pre-sold before the first plate is manufactured. Those who want an aquarium plate can fill out an application now and receive it when 300 are pre-sold. The specialty tag fee is an additional $33 on top of the usual fees and ad valorem taxes.

The Department of Revenue website answers questions about when and where to get new plates.

Drivers who don’t renew their tags on time have a grace period of 16 days after it expires, then are charged 5% for the next 15 days. Each month the tag is overdue beyond the first month, an additional 5% is charged, up to a 25% penalty.

Drivers who get pulled over for expired tags may be given a warning and a few days to renew, or they can be fined $250, depending on the municipality, in addition to the cost of the new tags.

That will give drivers the blues.

___

Information from: The Sun Herald, http://www.sunherald.com

BEFORE YOU GO…

… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.

If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.

Click for more info

About MBJ Newswires