New service allows for personalized license plates

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    There is a new way for students to express themselves 8212; sometimes in six characters or less.

    My Plates, a specialty license plate marketing vendor, is striving to make personalized license plates more popular and diverse throughout Texas, including college campuses, spokesperson Kim Drummond said.

    Drummond said that although a purple Texas Christian University license plate design is not currently sold by My Plates, one complete with a horned frog is waiting to go through the state approval process. It is expected to be released by My Plates March 15 of next year.

    With 20 new designs already released from My Plates, popularity should increase as more designs become available to Texans, Drummond said.

    Graduate accounting student Meagan Wayland’s personalized license plate boasts a lifelike horned frog on the left side, though it is not university-specific. Wayland said she liked having her school mascot on her license plate for both the unique personalization and the charitable cause behind it.

    “The horned frog license plates are much more attractive than the regular Texas license plates,” Wayland said. “It’s just kind of a cool, unique personalization for a car.”

    Wayland said proceeds from the sales of horned frog license plates contribute to the Texas Wildlife Action Plan, whose purpose is to conserve and improve the status of various Texas species.

    Drummond said a portion of each personalized plate purchase contributes to the state general revenue fund, which provides services for all Texans, such as the creation and maintenance of roads and schools. That money can be spent on anything that uses tax money.

    So far about 22,000 plates have been sold, totaling about $1.7 million to the state general revenue fund from My Plates, Drummond said.

    My Plates was contracted by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles in 2009 to provide personalized plates to Texas drivers, Drummond said. Before the company began in August 2009, only about 1 percent of all Texans would choose an alternate design instead of the standard issue plate, probably due to the limited options.

    Drummond said My Plates hoped to change that percentage significantly.

    Junior communication studies major Morgan Whipps has a license plate that reads “MWAH” with a lip imprint picture as the background. This is the exchange that Whipps said she and her family have when she leaves home or says goodbye on the phone.

    “It makes me smile for sure every time I see it,” Whipps said. “It reminds me of my parents.”

    The letters “NVRCWT,” displayed on the license plate of senior Katie Howard, a secondary school education and life science major, stands for “never quit.”

    The letters represent Winston Churchill’s quote, “Never, never, never give up.”, a quote that Howard said was significant to her family.

    Drummond said My Plates does not target one specific age group or consumer type because of the diverse audience and numerous designs available.

    “Our target is Texas, [and] that’s as diverse as you can get,” she said.

    My Plates’s Facebook page compiles photos of new designs, as well as pictures that its consumers have posted of their own personalized plates. The most recent pictures include university designs for schools such as Texas A&M University, Baylor University and the University of Oklahoma, Drummond said.