2 new license plate designs coming to Utah this year – not a new plate process


License plates on the wall in an area where plates are made at the Utah State Prison in Draper March 5, 2014. The Utah Legislature passed a pair of bills this year designating new models of registration plates. (Ravell Call, Deseret News)

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SALT LAKE CITY – If you don’t know what Utah is”Live of“campaign is, you didn’t pay attention.

The state’s suicide prevention program has racked up more than a quarter billion impressions on billboards, social media and TV since its launch in 2020.

“The message is getting through,” Rep. Steve Eliason, R-Sandy, said in February. “Calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Utah Crisis Line (and) Utah Hotline have increased dramatically. And, in the data that will soon be released, we will see that it makes a difference, especially in the lives of our young people, in terms of the numbers (of suicides) going down.”

The campaign will now be presented in a new medium, as Governor Spencer Cox has signed HB13 On Tuesday, shelved a new specialty license plate that promotes Utah’s “Live On” suicide prevention campaign.

The license plate will be one of two new designs that Utah car owners will likely have the option to choose from by the end of the year. The Utah Legislature, after some attempts, also passed a bill that creates the “Utah Dark Sky” specialty plate. This bill, however, is still on the governor’s desk to be signed.

Another bill, dubbed “the bill to end all license plate bills,” failed to clear the Utah Senate this year, meaning that lawmakers will still weigh in on future designs for at least another year.

HB13 is expected to come into effect on October 15; after that, proceeds from people who choose the “Live On” license plate — $25 per plate — will go to the campaign.

“It’s a simple way for people to share the message of hope that life is worth living; to live and also help create a source of funding for…a very good cause,” said said Eliason, when he first introduced the bill in February. 3.

Once signed, HB88 will do the same for the preservation of the starry sky. Funds from the sale of this plaque will go to the Utah State Parks Division, to “advance the Utah State Parks Dark Sky Initiative.” There are nearly a dozen state parks in Utah certified as “dark sky parks.” by the International Dark-Sky Association.

One bill that didn’t end up on the governor’s desk this year is one that would have completely changed the way specialty license plate designs are approved.

HB368which passed the House of Representatives on February 22, would have set aside a new standard Utah license plate while leading colleges, nonprofit charities or state agencies seeking to create a plate of specialty for the Utah Department of Motor Vehicles for review, instead of the Utah Legislative Assembly.

The DMV would have had the authority to grant plaques whenever the sponsoring organization’s application was approved. Bill presented the DMV with at least 500 complete pre-order requests and paid the cost of the “startup fee.”

He also reportedly put a moratorium on all personalized plates. However, he did not clear the Utah Senate this year.

Rep. Norm Thurston, R-Provo, said he believed he had the support of the Utah Senate, but the chamber was unable to vote on the bill before the session ended at midnight on March 4. . He expects to bring back the same bill. in the future, but perhaps earlier in a future session.

“We never speculated why or how or anything, but the answer is it was there, it was available and they just didn’t get there,” Thurston told KSL.com Wednesday. “It’ll be back next year, in a probably similar way because there’s not a lot of refining it needs yet; (if we) need to make minor changes, we will.”

He still believes Utah needs to make “comprehensive changes” to the state’s specialty license plate process.

This means that HB13 and HB88 could be the last of their kind. Future specialty plates could go through a less intense and political process, especially if Thurston’s bill is successful next year.

“The problem with how we do it now is that each of them requires legislation, which sets a pretty high bar for an organization that wants to do that because you have to figure out how to get a legislator to sponsor your particular plate. “, he said. “The end result is that it ends up being inefficient, lacks transparency, and isn’t equally available to every organization that might want one.”

Carter Williams is an award-winning journalist who covers general news, the outdoors, history and sports for KSL.com. He previously worked for the Deseret News. He is a transplant from Utah via Rochester, New York.

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