Starting Monday, May 7, The Georgia Department of Revenue began dispersing the newly issued license plates in an effort to reduce the cost to manufacture and purchase the plates.
“Any license plate issued prior to Dec. 1, 2003 and having the plate heading ‘Georgia…on my mind’, will be replaced at the time of registration renewal or a vehicle registered in Georgia for the first time at the county tag office,” according to the Georgia Department of Revenue.
Some changes to the plates include digitally printed numbers and letters as opposed to the old plates in which signifying letters and numbers were stamped into the plate, which will decrease how long it takes for drivers to receive new plates, according to Georgia Department of Revenue.
Additionally, “Georgia…on my mind,” will not be written on the tags. In its place, the phrase “Peach State,” will replace the old slogan on the plates.
The new plate was designed by Linda Sosebee, and reflects colorful images of involving peaches, and the ever-popular “Georgia peaches.”
A second plate option will be available to Georgia drivers who are not in favor of the colorful display, and will be given a similar tag, merely without the colors.
Though the only two choices specified by the Georgia Department of Revenue for drivers to date are the two mentioned above, drivers with other plates will begin to see the old specialty plates fading out in 2013.
“Registered vehicle owners having a license plate issued after Dec. 1, 2003 and having the plate heading WWW.Georgia.gov including any vanity, prestige, veteran, college or university, or any other specialty license plate will be replaced beginning May of 2013,” according to the Georgia Department of Labor.
The specialty plates send proceeds to different areas of support from wildlife management to a branch of military or college, and the driver can represent that cause with special pictures, characters and symbols.
These specialty plates generally require a one time “manufacturer’s fee,” however, it is unclear if that standard will be changed with the new license plates.
According to Gordon County Tax Commissioner, Scott Clements, that is the first question he will ask at an upcoming training session.
“My question is when they do replace them will they charge another manufacturing fee? Most people don’t mind paying the one time fee to have that plate manufactured, it’s obviously something that is worth the price to them to be the only one in the state to have those characters or numbers and they don’t mind paying, but that is my biggest question,” said Clements.
Ms. Sosebee’s design was chosen by Gov. Nathan Deal as the winner of the 2011 Georgia License Plate Design Contest in July.
The contest drew controversy last year after confusion arose over whether the motto “In God We Trust” would be on the new car tag. Vehicle owners will have the option of adding the motto to the license plate for free starting July 1.
Gov. Deal signed into law a bill that eliminates the $1 charge for the optional “In God We Trust” decals for vehicle license plates.