To avoid a public relations wreck. The state is putting the breaks on plans to hire a private company to distribute new Florida's license plates. Currently the tags are made by inmates at a cost of about a $1.70 per tag.
But there are problems with the tags. The embossed characters make it difficult for traffic cameras to read allowing thousands of traffic violators to escape an estimated 7 million dollars in fines a year.
To remedy the problem the director of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles wants new tags with flat characters plus a seventh digit. But initial plans have fallen flat over concerns about giving a private company 33 million dollars to produce and distribute the tags.
"We felt the best and cleanest way to represent the thoughts from our stakeholders was to start over again and to completely separate the tag redesign portion from the distribution portion," said Julie Jones.
State Cabinet members are applauding the change in plans.
“Let’s decouple it. Let’s get the right plate and then we can decide what’s the right process for getting it out to the public,” said Jeff Atwater.
“Everyone hopefully can end up being on the same page, but that’s not happening now so I think moving it was the prudent thing to do,” said Attorney General Pam Bondi.
Four designs are posted online and the public can continue to vote for their favorite, but once a winner is selected the focus will shift to who will make the new tags.
You can vote for your favorite design at vote4floridatag.com. The deadline is Friday. The winning design isn’t guaranteed to become Florida’s next plate.