CARSON CITY — Having trouble identifying all the specialty license plates you see on cars? It just got harder last week when the Department of Motor Vehicles announced it has manufactured a plate to honor rural Nevada airports.
The Nevada Airports Association license plate shows a colorful twin-engine plane in flight.
Some of the funds from the sale of the plates will go into the Aviation Trust Fund to help the state’s 44 rural airports pay for safety and maintenance projects they otherwise could not afford.
Under state law, no more than 35 specialty license plates can be active at any time. Sixteen organizations are on a waiting list to qualify for specialty plates. If plates fail to sell, then they are discounted.
A “Support Health Care” for University Medical Center was discontinued at the beginning of the year because only 656 were purchased. A plate celebrating union carpenters was dropped after 2009 when only 99 people purchased it.
The rural airports plate comes after the issuance in July of a special plate commemorating Nevada’s 150th anniversary of statehood on Oct. 31, 2014.
As of the end of August, 1,614 of these plates had been purchased. And just a few weeks ago, plates to honor the Air Force Thunderbirds and Breast Cancer Awareness were issued.
The most popular special plate by far celebrates the 100th anniversary of the founding of Las Vegas in 2005. At the end of August, 82,444 had been issued. The second-place plate, celebrating Lake Tahoe, has sold 17,270 copies. In all, 188,460 specialty plates have been purchased by Nevadans.
Nonprofit groups seek the special plates to raise funds for their causes.
The specialty plates cost an extra $61 for purchase and $30 for annual renewals. The Nevada Airports Association will receive $25 from each initial issuance and $20 from each renewal.
Bobbi Thompson, president of the airports association and manager of Minden-Tahoe Airport, thanked the DMV staff for their assistance and said rural airports will use the funds to complete projects that otherwise would go unfinished.
“Specialty license plates provide a way for the general population to support these groups and show their support by having the organization’s plate on their vehicle,” DMV Director Troy Dillard said.
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