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Minnesota blackout license plates are hot sell in first week – Austin Daily Herald

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Minnesota blackout license plates are hot sell in first week

Published 7:58 am Wednesday, January 10, 2024

By Dana Ferguson

Blackout license plates are now available, and state public safety leaders said Tuesday that they’re selling like hot cakes just a week after they came to market in Minnesota.

So far this year, the state division of vehicle services sold over 3,800 of the new specialty license plates that very simply cast white writing on a black backdrop.

In a typical year, the state sells about 70,000 of the state’s critical habitat specialty plates, Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services Director Pong Xiong said. That’s currently the most popular specialty license plate, but the new option seems to be on track to eclipse that, he said.

“So 3,800 in a couple of days, I think we’re trending in a very positive direction,” Xiong said. “And it’s clear that Minnesotans are very excited about this plate.”

Gov. Tim Walz was among the first Minnesotans to get the new design. He told reporters it’s been a long-time goal to get the simpler vehicle identifiers approved in Minnesota.

“I felt this is one thing that Iowa had over us and that has been corrected,” Walz said as he lifted a model of the plates. The governor said the new options evoke another era when cars had more classic license plates.

“I think it’s a nostalgia thing,” he continued. “It harkens back to a time when the simplest plates, early automobiles coming on were black and white.”

Minnesota also began selling plates designated for the state’s major league sports teams this month. Xiong said Vikings, Twins, Timberwolves, Wild and Lynx team plates are available now. The state also created a new license plate to honor the non-profit Lion’s Club.

Later this month, he said the state expects to launch sales of its Minnesota United plates, along with plates from the state’s Office of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives. Those will feature a red handprint and a traditional ribbon skirt. Funding from the sales will flow to the Gaagige-Mikwendaagoziwag Reward Account. The account helps bring attention to cases of missing and murdered Indigenous people.

The new license plates will run drivers back $15.50 and also require an annual contribution of $30 to designated charitable causes. The options can be purchased online or in person at a Division of Vehicle Services center.

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