The classic license plate gets a makeover | News


Oregonians will soon have a choice in how they show their support for salmon habitat. A new salmon license plate design will be available September 1, or Oregonians can opt for the classic salmon license plate through August.

The lower-numbered new plates will be available through a special auction in cooperation with Oregon nonprofits that support salmon habitat restoration.

The Oregon Watershed Improvement Board (OWEB) and the Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation first launched the salmon plate in 1998.

Revenue from the specialty plate protects and restores native salmon habitat. To date, more than $8 million in Salmon Plate funds have been invested in Oregon.

“When paired with dedicated investments for state lottery voters, this plate allows salmon supporters to show their true colors and invest in a worthwhile cause – healthy salmon habitat,” said Meta Loftsgaarden, executive director of the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board.

The original plaque was one of the first custom designs available in Oregon, and the new design is a colorful upgrade, showing salmon spawning in a clear, cool stream.

The new art was created by Gretchen Kirchner, an amateur artist and former graphic designer with the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board. The public can continue to order the classic plate design before retiring in August and can keep the classic plates on their car if they wish, while supporting Habitat projects.

To launch the new salmon license plate, the Oregon Conservation Partnership (ORCP) is hosting an auction of the salmon plate’s VIP listing on eBay. On July 20, the public will be able to go to and search for “Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts Salmon License Plate”.

The auction allows bidders to secure low number places on the VIP list for plate numbers SM 00001 through SM 00020 when new plates are released.

Bids must be placed by 5 p.m. on July 30 to qualify. Proceeds from the auction will benefit statewide nonprofits that strongly support on-the-ground salmon recovery in Oregon.

The new plates will be available for passenger vehicles through the Oregon Department of Transportation’s Driver and Motor Vehicle Services (DMV) beginning Sept. 1, but when and how Oregonians apply for the new plate are important.

To guarantee the landing of the new salmon plate design, vehicle owners must apply in person, online at DMV2U, or by mail on or after September 1. Online or in-person orders before August 31, 2021 will receive the classic plate.

More information on the new salmon license plate, auction rules and eligibility, can be found at


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