The Department of Revenue held a press conference Tuesday at the state Capitol to highlight the start of Missouri’s bicentennial license plate reissuance.
Speakers included Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe, Sen. Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia, and Rep. Glen Kolkmeyer, R-Odessa. Celebrating 200 years of Missouri statehood, the bicentennial license plate design is now in circulation.
To commemorate Missouri’s bicentennial, the Legislature passed a law in 2016 requiring the Department of Revenue to begin a reissuance of license plates with a new, bicentennial design. The Department started issuing the bicentennial design this month to ensure everyone will receive their new plates by Missouri’s bicentennial on Aug. 10, 2021.
Department Director Joel Walters opened the press conference, recapping the history of the bicentennial license plate and thanking many of those involved throughout the project. “Yesterday we celebrated the kickoff of an exciting project that’s been several years in the making — the Missouri bicentennial license plate,” said Walters. “The bicentennial license plate will ultimately give millions of Missourians the opportunity to directly be a part of the bicentennial celebration and this unique, special time in Missouri history.
“I want to thank everyone who’s dedicated their time to this project, the State Historical Society and Division of Tourism for their partnership, as well as Lt. Gov. Kehoe, Sen. Rowden and Rep. Kolkmeyer for helping us commemorate this important milestone in Missouri’s larger bicentennial celebration.”
The bicentennial design replaces the Missouri bluebird license plate introduced in 2008. The materials used for license plates have an average lifespan of six years; after which, they can begin to deteriorate. As Missouri’s last reissuance was in 2008, many of the current bluebird license plates have been on the road for close to 10 years.
The bicentennial license plate officially entered into circulation Oct. 15, 2018. Most Missouri registration holders will be required to purchase the new, bicentennial license plates when their license plate registration comes up for renewal. However, individuals with specialty license plates, as well as permanent or historic registrations will be exempt. Specialty license plates are not the same as personalized license plates.
“It’s an important time in our state to look at the history we’ve been through, the history this bicentennial license plate reflects, especially with the strength of our rivers that run through our state,” said Kehoe. “By the time Missouri’s bicentennial comes, Missourians will be able to see at every street corner a reflection of what our history is about and remember how deep and rich our history is.”
Registration holders will receive their bicentennial license plates at their next regularly scheduled registration renewal falling on or after Oct. 15, 2018. The Department encourages its customers to watch for their renewal notice in the mail, or simply check their plates for the expiration date. When it is time to renew, they should go to their local license office, or they can get their new plates by mail.
“I heard it said the other day that it’s important to give our state’s history a future, and I think the bicentennial license plate is one of the things that does that,” commented Rowden.
A small reissuance fee covers the cost of the license plate materials and labor. The cost for one embossed plate is $1.68 and a set is $3.36. The cost for one flat plate is $3.77 and a set is $7.54.
“The bicentennial license plate has been a neat project from start to finish, and I’m honored to be a part of it. I think this license plate is really something to be proud of, and I hope everyone enjoys it,” added Kolkmeyer.
The Department also unveiled its “History That Moves You” public awareness campaign, during the press conference. The campaign brings together the bicentennial license plate with various modes of transportation important to Missouri history, such as Lewis and Clark’s keelboat, an old farm truck, a steam engine and more.
Jackie Bemboom, director of the Motor Vehicle and Driver Licensing Division, provided the closing remarks and introduced the History That Moves You ad. “The Department of Revenue has had over 20 employees working on the bicentennial project since the beginning of 2017,” Bemboom said. “Thank you to all our Department staff and partner organizations who made the bicentennial license plate reissuance possible.”
The Department reports that it will have to produce over 12 million plates and distribute them to 177 license offices throughout the state. The public is encouraged to surrender their old plates to a local license office for recycling at the time they obtain their new plates.
For more information about the Missouri bicentennial license plate reissuance, visit https://dor.mo.gov/motorv/bicentennial.php. View the History That Moves You Ad at https://youtu.be/DK2ic-Tp4Dg.