Thursday, July 19, 2001

New plates hit road in October

Bicentennial commemorated

By Randy McNutt
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Ohio's bicentennial is about to go on the road.

        On Oct. 1, new standard license plates will feature the red, white and blue bicentennial logo on the left side, with new six-character combinations — two letters followed by two numbers and two letters.

        Although personalized and organizational plates won't carry the logo, they will also be red, white and blue and carry the words “Ohio Bicentennial” across the top and “Birthplace of Aviation” on the bottom.

        This week the Bureau of Motor Vehicles started shipping the new plates to Ohio's 217 deputy registrar agencies, spokeswoman Julie Stebbins said.

        By appearing on license plates, the logo should receive widespread attention and give the bicentennial more publicity.

        “This logo, and our efforts to paint it on barns across Ohio, have helped make the bicentennial a familiar brand across the state,” said Stephen George, executive director of the Ohio Bicentennial Commission. “The new plates will complement our efforts, while making even more Ohioans aware of, and excited about, the historic occasion taking place in 2003.”

        The Bicentennial Commission is planning celebrations across the state, to start in spring 2003. The group will also sponsor Tall Stacks on the Ohio River and a bicentennial bell-making program for cities and towns.

        Come Oct. 1, when current blue and white license plates must start to be replaced, bicentennial license plates will be issued for all new plates purchased.

        For a standard new-plate charge of 75 cents, and any additional registration fees, motorists will receive the bicentennial plates.

        “This is mandatory,” Ms. Stebbins said. “The old plates are losing their reflection ability and must be replaced.”

        All blue and white plates must be replaced by January 2003. About 2.4 million are in use.

        Ohioans who use the special gold plates may purchase plates with bicentennial logos for $2.75. If existing gold plates are damaged or lost, they will be replaced with new bicentennial plates, Ms. Stebbins said.

        Licenses plates not carrying the bicentennial logo are the seven-character plates, including personalized, organizational, motorcycle, dealer and commercial truck plates, she said.

        For more information, see the Bureau of Motor Vehicle Web site at or


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