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Montana specialty plates at risk have until July to reach threshold

Posted at 8:00 PM, Feb 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-24 22:01:16-05

All of the Montana specialty license plate designs that are in danger of being revoked under updated Montana law now have until July 2020 to reach the minimum number of 400 registered plate sets.

Among the organizations affected: Great Falls High School; Havre Wrestling Club; Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians; Benefis Mercy Flight; and Lewis & Clark Humane Society. Click here to see the complete list .

The 85 currently affected non-profit organizations that have specialty plates in danger of being revoked received a letter from the Montana Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) outlining the new grace period.

On July 1, MVD will take a new "snapshot" of registered plates. The letter states this is a one-time extension: “If your organization does not meet the 400-plate minimum sales threshold by July 1, 2020, its specialty plate will be revoked. There will be no exceptions and no additional grace periods.”

MVD administrator Sarah Garcia told MTN that starting in March, a monthly plate snapshot will be available on MVD’s website to help nonprofits track their progress. Garcia believes the online tool will help prevent any surprises for nonprofits and and the public.

Prickly Pear Land Trust executive director Mary Hallow said the grace period and ability to check where they’re at will make reaching the minimum 400 plates more attainable. Hallow noted, however, it’s still going to be a hard climb for a lot of nonprofits. “It will definitely be a push for everybody,” said Hallow. “We not only have to meet 400 minimum plates per year, but we really need to exceed that because plate numbers sort of ebb and flow.”

Hallow says the specialty plate programs have been great for people to show what organizations and causes they support.

Many of the nonprofits affected have already started new campaigns on social media, and want people to know they can change their license plates to one of the specialty designed any time of the year.

“I think it is attainable for us, and people will be compelled by this to really get out there and support the nonprofits in our community,” said Hallow. “But it’s really important for us to get as many PPLT plates as possible.”

FEBRUARY 13: Dozens of license plate designs at risk in Montana