40 years of customized license plates
Today marks the 40th anniversary of voters’ decision to allow Washington drivers to personalize their license plates – and to help the state’s wildlife along the way.
Over the past four decades, revenue from personalized license plate sales has grown to contribute more than $2 million annually to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife program that oversees management of all species that are not hunted, fished, or trapped. At the heart of the program’s mission is the restoration and acquisition of important habitats, which also benefit game species.
“Personalized license plates provide a means for anyone who drives a vehicle to contribute to wildlife conservation in Washington,” said WDFW Director Phil Anderson.
Revenue from personalized license plate sales funds an array of projects within WDFW’s Wildlife Diversity Program centered on maintaining and restoring healthy ecosystems, recovering threatened and endangered species, conducting field surveys of wildlife and their habitats, sponsoring research projects, and acquiring valuable habitats and conservation easements that benefit all wildlife.
Eric Gardner said “When habitat is improved, all species that use it benefit. These funds have been instrumental in the management of bald eagles, sea otters and marbled murrelets, just to name a few.”
Referendum 33, which created personalized license plates in 1973, passed with 62.6 percent of the vote thanks to its support for wildlife conservation without new taxes.
For more information on personalized and wildlife themed license plates, go to: http://wdfw.wa.gov/license_plates/