Personalized license plates coming to Texas

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

    My Plates specialty license plate marketing vendor is striving to make personalized license plates more popular and diverse throughout Texas, college campuses included.

    My Plates spokesperson Kim Drummond said the company is a relatively new license plate vendor aimed to get Texas more excited about special license plates. The company was contracted by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles in 2009 to provide personalized plates to Texas drivers, Drummond said.

    “It’s an effort to get people who never thought for three seconds about their license plates to think about them,” Drummond said.

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

    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 and her family have when she leaves home or says goodbye on the phone.

    “It has significant meaning to my family,” she said.

    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,” Drummond said.

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

    The letters represent Winston Churchill’s quote, “Never, never, never give up.”

    It has always been a family thing, Howard said.

    Both students agreed that a customized license plate is a fun and easy way to express oneself. It is also a friendly reminder of what the plate stands for, Whipps said.

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

    Drummond said that before My Plates began in August 2009, only about 1 percent of all Texans would choose an alternate design instead of the standard issue plate. She said she believed that this is due to limited options of plate designs in Texas. My Plates hoped to change that percentage significantly.

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

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

    Graduate accounting student Meagan Wayland’s personalized license plate boasts a lifelike horned frog on the left side. Wayland said she likes 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 taxes are spent on.

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