Kentucky motorists can show their enthusiasm for and lend some financial support to one of more than 90 organizations and causes using their vehicle license plate.
In addition to the standard blue and white license plates, Kentucky offers 91 specialty plates, including 27 colleges and universities and 24 military service and awards.
Along with the University of Kentucky, Louisville, EKU, WKU, Northern and Kentucky State, independent colleges, including University of the Cumberlands, Union College, Berea and Lindsey Wilson are available.
The initial cost of the college and university plates are $44 with $10 going to the school’s general scholarship fund.
In addition to the yearly taxes, there is a renewal cost of $31, $10 of which also goes to that school’s general scholarship fund.
Military license plates are available for all five branches of the service, the service academies, national guard, and for those who have received certain military decorations including the Medal of Honor, Purple Heart, Silver Star, Bronze Star with Valor Device, Army Cross, Navy Cross, and Air Force Cross.
As part of the application process for military plates, an application must be submitted to the Kentucky Department of Veterans’ Affairs along with a copy of the recipient’s DD-214 (Honorable discharge), and for military decorations a copy of the General Order that authorized the award.
In addition, the Gold Star plates are available to spouses, parents and siblings who have had a family member killed while serving in the military.
Individuals seeking such plates must first contact veterans’ affairs, who will determine the individual’s eligibility and provide the necessary documentation to take to the clerk’s office.
The military plates are also available for motorcycles.
Other military plates include Civil Air Patrol and Pearl Harbor Survivor.
More than 40 special causes ranging from Alzheimer’s and breast cancer, to butterflies and cardinals, are available.
$10 of the purchase or renewal fee goes to help support the cause
Whitley County Clerk Kay Schwartz said anyone seeking to apply for one of the specialty plates should tell the deputy clerk that they wish to change plates on the vehicle.
“Once we have completed the renewal paperwork, it is too late until next year,” Schwartz said.
In addition to the vehicle registration, proof of insurance and tax bill, Schwartz said the owner should bring the old license plate.
“You have to surrender the old plate,” Schwartz explained.
While the Whitley County Clerk’s Office has most of the specialty plates on hand and available.
License plate renewal in Kentucky is due on the last day of the birth month of the vehicle’s owner.
Like with the regular license plates, specialty plates may be personalized.
Personalized plates are an additional $25 to purchase and renew.
“Plate requests are granted on a first come, first serve basis,” transportation officials stated on the license plate website adding that letters A through Z, numbers 1 through 9, spaces and dashes are the only valid characters.
Specialty plates are limited to five characters.
Motorists may go to the clerk’s office or online at www.drive.ky.gov to determine if a specific personalization is available.
The regular state license plate is limited to seven characters when personalized.
The plates may be ordered at the clerk’s office or online.