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State will grant extension to 85 specialty license plates recently revoked

Posted at 8:03 PM, Feb 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-13 22:03:45-05

The Montana Motor Vehicle Division(MVD) say they’ll be granting an extension to the 85 specialty plates that were recently revoked.

MVD Administrator Sarah Garcia confirmed the extension on Thursday, and said her office understands and acknowledges the letter that initially went out to the nonprofits could have been clearer.

Garcia said MVD is still working on the details of what the grace period will look like, but hopes to have a letter sent to the affected nonprofits in the next couple weeks.

Montana State Senator Jill Cohenour, D-East Helena, sponsored the legislation that changed the specialty license plates rule, and told MTN this is a great move in the right direction.

Cohenour said she first heard about the revocations on Monday Feb. 10 and immediately reached out to MVD.

“Folks are very upset, that wasn’t the intention of the legislation,” said Cohenour. “The intention of the legislation was to make this process of specialty plates work better for the public, for the department, for law enforcement; not knowing the implementation was going to go this poorly.”

Cohenour’s inbox soon began to flood with messages from concerned Montanans and organizations. She also heard a bipartisan group of legislators were reaching out to MVD after hearing complaints from their constituents.

“This was the citizens and legislators working together to make a change,” said Cohenour.

Several nonprofits MTN spoke with said there was no way for them to check on the number of plates they were at leading up to the deadline.

“The letter in September had numbers for people, but in an ongoing basis how would you know if you made the number or not?” said Cohenour.

It costs an organization around $4,000 to start a specialty plate. They then need to reach 400 sets with a current registration after 3 years to remain in the program. Each specialty plate is then reviewed yearly.

Cohenour said there is still no guarantee the organizations currently under the 400 registered plate sets minimum will get enough by the end of the extension, but at least those organizations now have a fighting chance.

“I think it would be reasonable if they have not been enforcing this for a long period of time to give at least a year, or perhaps to the certification time frame,” said Cohenour. “I think those are a couple or reasonable that the department could really make this better for these folks.”

Cohenour also encourages people that support one of the affected organizations to consider getting one of their specialty plates to help them make the 400 minimum.

The specialty plates in danger of revocation are:

Prickly Pear Land Trust

Lewis & Clark Humane Society

Bike Walk Montana

Benefis Mercy Flight

Mariah's Challenge

Missoula Freestyle Team

Richland Youth Hockey

Richland County

Stafford Animal Shelter

International Christian Cycling Club Montana Spoke

St Jude Thaddeus Catholic School

CMR Partner Inc

Bitterroot Humane Association

Missoula Art Museum

Montana Library Association

Disability Rights of Montana

Capital High School Booster Club

Rotary District 5390 Foundation

Montana Area Agencies on Aging Association

Beaver Booster Club IncRuby Habitat Foundation

Magic City Soccer Club

American Diabetes Association

Whitefish Legacy Partners

Flathead Valley Skiing Foundation

Anaconda Community Foundation

PSIA-NRM Educational Foundation, Inc

Bagdad Temple

Montana Utility Coordinating Council/Montana 811

Missoula Youth Football Inc

Sidney Soccer Association

March of Dimes

Planned Parenthood of Montana

Friends of the Beartooth All American Road Inc.

Central Ed Foundation of Silver Bow

MSU Billings Foundation

Montana CASA Gal Association

Missoula Area Youth Hockey Association

Glacier High School Booster Club

Carroll College Saints Athletic Association

Friends of Beaver Creek Park

Child Bridge

CAN AM Lifeline Search and Rescue

Richland County Ambulance Service/Sidney Health Center

Yellowstone Valley Animal Shelter

Montana Swimming Inc

Crime Stoppers

Montana Lions Sight & Hearing Foundation

Flathead High School Booster Club 2014

Montana Masonic FoundationMontana Watershed Coordination Council

Montana Heritage Commission

City of Bozeman

Libby School District Number 4

City of Lewistown

Butte School District

The Tribal Council of the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes

City of Shelby

Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians

Crow Tribe Executive Branch

Humane Society of Western Montana

Northwest Healthcare Foundation

Boy Scouts of America, Montana Council


Gallatin Hockey Inc DBA Bozeman Amateur Association

Swan Valley Connections

Algeria Shrine Temple

Alzheimer's Association Montana Chapter

Big Sky Economic Development

Whitefish Historical Society

MT Cutting Horse Association

Brennan's Wave

Department of Montana Veterans of Foreign Wars

Friends of the Wild Swan

Havre Wrestling Club

Friends of Makoshika

Big Sky Education Foundation

Sierra Club

Manhattan Christian School

Browning Public School District Number 9

Great Falls High School

Eureka Public Schools 2018

Billings Catholic Schools

Fort Peck Assiniboine & Sioux Tribes

Blackfeet Tribe