Florida Looking to Change Look of License Plates

License plates have been made the same way for more than three decades by prison inmates, but that could soon change. The state contends the raised letters make it hard for cameras to capture the tag number.

"Just in the period from January this year till August, we had 2.8 million unreadable tags in the red light camera," said Executive Director Julie Jones with the Department of Highway Safety.

Red light and toll booth cameras have trouble distinguishing between a B and an 8 or an O and a Q.

The confusion is costing the state seven million a year in lost tolls and Governor Rick Scott says that’s not fair. "It’s not fair that you may pay for a toll and someone else doesn't.”

25 years ago, the state held a contest and picked 6 finalists, then ended up just changing the state outline from green to red. This time, there are four similar designs; all flat for the cameras. Florida CEO Jeff Atwater wants Floridian’s imput. "I think it would be nice to let Floridians engage in the conversation about what would they like the look to be".

In the end, the final pick will be a group decision of the Governor and Cabinet. Tax Collectors, who stand to lose money, are raising concerns, which Attorney General Pam Bondi says need to be considered. "We need to look at what's most efficient, what's cost effective".

The state says the changeover will force the tag cheats to get the new plates and it will more than make up for 31 million dollars in cost.

The state lawmakers will also have to approve the change and if they do the first new plates will hit the streets in January 2014.


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