Florida fisheries license plate gets go-ahead; Disney World and Blue Angels coming soon

Images via Disney, State of Florida, and National Naval Aviation Museum.

A group backing a specialty license plate to promote conservation of fisheries is the first to meet sales and design requirements under a 2020 state law. 

With 3,207 plates pre-sold, the Coastal Conservation Association Florida’s "Conserve Florida’s Fisheries" plate has been delivered to tax collector offices and license plate agencies statewide, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles announced Thursday. 

Two other plates --- for Walt Disney World and the Blue Angels --- will soon be road-ready. Both have outsold the Coastal Conservation Association but remain in the manufacturing phase, according to department spokeswoman Jessica Kelleher.

Walt Disney World has already pre-sold 9,333 plates, far more than the required 3,000 under the 2020 law, while backers of the Blue Angels plate have pre-sold 3,644. 

The 2020 law set a cap of 150 specialty plates, up from 123 on the road at the time. But it also increased from 1,000 to 3,000 the number of plates that needed to be pre-sold. 

Plates, most carrying a $25 user fee, will have to maintain the 3,000-plate sales threshold starting July 1, 2022, or face being discontinued if they are below the new benchmark for 12 consecutive months. 

Plates for Florida colleges, some of which are the lowest sellers, are exempt from the minimum sales requirement. 

The law also created several new potential tags, including a "super tag" template for nine black fraternities and sororities dubbed the "Divine 9" --- Alpha Phi Alpha, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi, Delta Sigma Theta, Phi Beta Sigma, Zeta Phi Beta, Sigma Gamma Rho and Iota Phi Theta. 

It also opened plate designs to three non-Florida schools, the University of Alabama, the University of Georgia and Auburn University. Each out-of-state school must hit a pre-sale mark of 4,000. 

As of a Sunday total, the Divine 9 plate was at 2,165 sold. Pre-sale totals for the non-Florida schools were 816 for the University of Alabama, 719 for Auburn University and 331 for the University of Georgia.

More than 1.68 million specialty license plates were on Florida roads in 2020. 

Here are the top 10 specialty plates last year by sales, according to the state:

  1. Endless Summer: 93,986
  2. University of Florida: 93,716
  3. Helping Sea Turtles Survive: 91,423
  4. Florida State University: 70,909
  5. Protect Wild Dolphins: 52,247
  6. Miami Heat: 51,572
  7. Marine Corps: 48,036
  8. Save the Manatee: 47,673
  9. Protect the Panther: 41,080
  10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 41,004