Campaign Update: Bicycle-Themed Specialty License Plate Program

We still need about 1,100 people to fill out our license plate campaign survey, but we wanted to take a few minutes to answer some recurring questions:

Is that really what the specialty bicycle-themed plate will actually look like?
No. This is not the final design, or even a proposal for the design.


The final design will not read “California Bicycle Coalition,” nor will it have our logo on it. We haven’t started working on the design yet — we need a lot more people to fill out first. And then we will turn to a professional designer with strong community ties to help.

To answer another question, the image on the left does legally have to be the size of the blue square shown above, and on the left like the Firefighters’ plate. Specialty license plates with background images, like the whale plate, have been outlawed by the CHP so machines can more easily read the six letters.

Yes, six letters. Specialty license plates have six letters instead of seven, and yes, you can still order personalized characters (“BIKES,” anyone?).

Finally, the slogan at the bottom that reads “Enabling more people to bicycle” is going to be replaced with a slogan chosen by you, the community, and must be in line with the mission of the state agency chosen to sponsor the program.

Who will be in charge of distributing the funds?
Speaking of a state agency, we are working to identify an appropriate agency to sponsor the program. This agency will be responsible for distributing the funds from the specialty license plate program. Legally, no more than 25% of funds from the license plate program can go towards administration of the funds from either the state agency, or the “organization” (in this case, the California Bicycle Coalition). We have begun conversations with a few state agencies, but will only settle once we find an agency that agrees with the community on an appropriate slogan as well as on how the funds should be spent.

Here’s a breakdown of what’s coming next:

  • We need to get at least 1,100 more people to fill out to make sure that we’ve got great community input
  • Recruit a state agency to partner with on the bicycle-themed specialty license plate program
  • Finalize the license plate design with input from the community, state agency, and designer
  • Get the go-ahead and applications from the DMV
  • Once we get the go-ahead, we’ll have 12 months to sell 7,500 plates to win implementation of an ongoing bicycle-themed license plate program.

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