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Florida roads to get specialty license plate that celebrates going off-road - Orlando Sentinel

Published on: 02/17/2022

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By Richard Tribou Orlando Sentinel | Feb 17, 2022 at 10:08 AM

The newest specialty license plate headed for Florida’s vehicles may be more popular off of its highways than on.

The “Explore Off-Road” Florida tag that raised money for the Florida Off-Road Foundation achieved the 3,000 preorders necessary for it to be put into production.

Advertisement The Explore Off Road Florida specialty license plate design approved by the 2020 Florida Legislature. It reached its 3,000 preorder requirement in January 2022 and will head into production. (Florida Off Road Foundation) One of the group’s founders is event organizer Mark Wayne Hess, who helped create the Florida Jeep Jam in Panama City Beach. The plate’s popular has been driven by Jeep owners among others.

The nonprofit’s stated goals are to protect and preserve Florida’s off-road culture and natural heritage; to educate Floridians about responsible use of the off-road environment; to support search and rescue volunteer programs to promote use of off-road vehicles to assist law enforcement; and to restore Florida’s off-road trails and natural habitat through organized cleanups, restorations and expansion.

The state informed the nonprofit it had reached the presale requirement in early January, and to expect plates to be in the 67 county tax collector agency offices in 90-120 days. Those who purchased vouchers will get notification from the state of when they can pick up their plates.

The off-road plate is the sixth new plate in the last two years since the Legislature opened up more than 30 potential specialty tags. To pass muster before being put into production, the law has given the tags two years to garner 3,000 presales, except for three out-of-state university plates that face a 4,000-presale threshold.

From the 2020 offerings, Off-road Florida now joins Walt Disney World, the Navy Blue Angels and the Coastal Conservation Association plates already in production, as well as a tag for the Divine 9 historically Black fraternities and sororities that reached the 3,000 preorder threshold recently as well.

The design for the Florida State Parks specialty license plate, which achieved its 3,000 preorder requirement less than two months after initially being offered Oct. 1, 2021. It will be available in early 2022. (Florida State Parks) Seven more potential plates were approved in 2021, one of which achieved its preorder requirement in 34 days. That one for Florida State Parks should be available soon as well.

Of the 31 potential plates approved in 2000, the next closest are America the Beautiful, which raises funds for the Florida Family Policy Council, with 2,814 sold as of Feb. 14, according to date tracked by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles on its website . That’s followed by the Best Buddies plate that features retiring Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and raises funds for the group dedicated to ending the economic isolation people with intellectual and developmental disabilities like autism and Down syndrome. That one stands at 2,153 plates sold.

Other plates with more than 1,000 presales include those for Ducks Unlimited, Thank a Lineman and the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust.

Of the three collegiate plates in the running, Auburn University has passed the halfway mark to its higher 4,000-presale requirement with 2,052 plates sold while the University of Alabama has 1,407 and University fo Georgia has 435.

These plates have only until Sept. 30 to achieve the preorder threshold or they will become delisted.

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