Story by Tiffany Burns | Jun 27, 2017

A new specialty plate is coming to Missouri.

Specialty Plate

The evolution of a specialty license plate in our state is no small task. It’s an undertaking many organizations initiate but are unable to complete. The six steps of the Missouri Specialty License Plate Development Process include: the initial application, media and public notification, legislative approval, plate mock-up, the gathering of applications and fees, and, finally, production of the plates. The Day Solutions Foundation, DSF, began breaking ground on this task a few short weeks ago. The organization is dedicated to assisting special needs individuals. Initially limited to the adult population, this local nonprofit has recently expanded their reach to include servicing the needs of children and teens. As the license plate project continues to unfold, that mission will extend statewide.

The History

The implementation of specialty license plates in Missouri began in the early seventies. In our state, there are a total of 198 specialty license plates that have completed the initial application process. Of those 198, 37 applicants are still in need of their $5,000 development fee and 200 signed and paid for applications. Of the remaining 161, 86 of those plates have had less than 100 purchasers since completing the process. The Missouri plate with the most purchases is the Disabled Veterans plate with a total of 7,447 sales, followed closely by the Children’s Trust Fund with 6,493 as of April 2017. You can see the entire list of specialty plates and statistics at the Department of Revenue’s website.

The Problem

According to the DMV, the production of a specialty plate is not a highly profitable venture for most organizations unless they make a true effort to market the product. Jackie Bemboom, Director of the Motor Vehicle and Licensing Division, says Missouri citizens don’t show the same interest in specialized plates like other states, such as Florida, do. The state of Florida had nearly 1.5 million specialty plate sales in 2015 alone. Missouri only has 30,000 sales total since the plate sales began.  

The Solution

Nonetheless, DSF is optimistic about its goals and what the start of this license plate will mean for our state’s residents. DSF’s mission with the onset of this new plate is to get as many folks as possible to unite and help spread the message of acceptance for abilities of all kinds. In doing so, the organization will generate funds toward a much-needed deficit in the special needs community – the cost to attend camp. Missouri House of Representatives, Jay Barnes has taken it upon himself to step up as the Missouri General Assembly sponsor for the license plate.

So far, the Uniting All Abilities potential purchasers have reached 175 out of 200 necessary applicants to get their project off the ground. They have until June 30, just a few short days, to get the remaining 25 signatures. Once the new plate passes through all six steps of the development process, the plates will be available for an annual purchase of $40 beginning in 2018. Of that fee, $15 is a fee charged by the state, and $25 will go into a fund to offer scholarships for individuals to attend special needs camps throughout the state. If you would like to help support the organization by signing up as a potential purchaser, you can do so through their website at http://www.daysolutionsfoundation.org/get-involved.html. Applications for the recipients of the scholarships, both individuals and camps, will be made available on the website once the process is complete.

Find out more about Day Solutions foundation on our blog.