EUGENE, Ore.-- A license plate advocating child abuse prevention may be discontinued in Oregon, after advocates lobbied the legislature to get the plate created on three occasions.
The Department of Motor Vehicles has established several “group” plates to represent non-profit organizations and institutions. This is the least expensive way to have a specialty plate produced.
One of these is the “Keep Children Safe” plate.
The $30 extra that drivers pay for the plate is divided between several programs aimed at preventing child abuse across the state.
The “Keep Children Safe” plate made its debut in October 2012. Unfortunately, the plate has not been very popular.
If Oregonians don’t purchase more than 500 sets of a particular plate, production stops.
As of Monday, only 443 “Keep Children Safe” plates have been sold.
CASA of Lane County is an organization that advocates for children who have an open case with child protective services.
CASA’s Executive Director, Megan Shultz, was disappointed by the news.
“It’s not about the money. It’s really about raising awareness of the issue and keeping these children in the front of peoples’ minds. This is so easy. I know our community care about kids. This is a way that you can show that,” Shultz said.
Even after a plate is discontinued, the DMV will offer them until the 700 sets that were produced are sold. Then, the plate will become unavailable.
DMV officials say that since a lot of people deal with licensing renewals through the mail, a final determination on the “Keep Kids Safe” plate’s future will not come until mid-November.
Rebecca Reynolds Bolden works for the DMV, and believes while a great cause, fewer people are getting specialty plates for economic reasons.
“A lot of customers unfortunately have a hard time just buying basic registration. To add $30 on top of that is a hardship,” Reynolds said.
Some examples of group plates that are unavailable are Volunteer Firefights, Support Our Troops, and Pearl Harbor.
Earlier version of story
EUGENE, Ore. - A license plate the sales of which benefit the Children's Trust Fund of Oregon is in danger of being discontinued.
The Keep Kids Safe debuted in October 2012. As of Monday, Oregon DMV had sold 443 of the first 700 sets produced.
The plates need to hit a 500-set minimum by October 31 to remain active.
If DMV doesn't sell another 57 sets of the plates by then, the plate will go inactive and DMV will sell through the remainder of the initial 700-plate run, explained David J. House with the Oregon DOT.
Changes in license plate printing technology have allowed Oregon to produce dozens of different specialty license plates in recent years.
If the Keep Kids Safe plate does go inactive, it won't be alone, House said.
The following group plates that are inactive but we are still selling until DMV runs out:
Oregon State Elks
Lions Club of America
University of Portland
Oregon Masonic Family
Eastern Oregon University
Other group plates have gone inactive and are no longer available:
Support Our Troops
George Fox College
Korean War Veteran (Now a Veterans Recognition plate option)
Western Oregon University