Make us your home page

Florida's new license plate design announced

TALLAHASSEE — Unlike presidential races in Florida, the counting of votes for the next state license plate ended on time Friday with — so far, at least — no threat of a recount.

Out of 50,124 votes cast during a three-week online contest, the winning plate won by a scant 566 votes, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles announced Tuesday. Stamped with fluorescent green bars at the bottom and top and a bright orange serving as the "O" in Florida, the victor is certainly more colorful than the state's current plate.

The design has seven characters instead of the current six to keep Florida from running out of character combinations. But gone are two trademarks: the shape of Florida and the oranges in the middle of the plate.

If approved by Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet, the plate will be the newest accessory on the state's 15 million vehicles starting in 2014. The contest was part of a $31 million makeover of the plate to make it more readable.

This being Florida, of course there is controversy with the results.

Kevin Cate, who owns a Tallahassee public relations firm, found the plates so distasteful he offered a design, which the highway safety department rejected.

"There's no winner of the choices the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles have provided to the people of Florida," he said. "Nobody wins with the new tags."

But Hillsborough County Tax Collector Doug Belden said the design looks good.

"I have no problem with the public picking colors and font styles," he said. "It's very positive to get input from the motorists of Florida."

Brittany Alana Davis can be reached at or (850) 323-0353.

The other tag designs

For a look at the designs that didn't win, go to

Florida's new license plate design announced 12/18/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 18, 2012 10:41pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. 'What Happened'? Clinton memoir sold 300,000 copies in first week


    Despite being met with decidedly mixed reviews, What Happened, Hillary Clinton's new memoir about the 2016 presidential campaign, sold a whopping 300,000 copies in its first week.

    The new memoir by former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton sold 300,000 copies in its first week.
  2. After Irma topples tree, home sale may be gone with the wind

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — To house hunters searching online, the home for sale in St. Petersburg's Shore Acres neighborhood couldn't have looked more appealing — fully renovated and shaded by the leafy canopy of a magnificent ficus benjamini tree.

    Hurricane Irma's winds recently blew over a large ficus tree, left, in the yard of a home at 3601Alabama Ave NE, right, in Shore Acres which is owned by Brett Schroder who is trying to sell the house.
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  3. Unemployment claims double in Florida after Hurricane Irma


    The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dropped by 23,000 last week to 259,000 as the economic impact of Hurricane Harvey began to fade.

    Homes destroyed by Hurricane Irma on Big Pine Key last week. Hurricane Irma continued to have an impact on the job market in Florida, where unemployment claims more than doubled from the previous week.
[The New York Times file photo]
  4. Calling it a 'dangerous precedent,' Tampa chamber opposes city tax increase


    TAMPA — Calling the possibility a "dangerous precedent," the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce on Thursday took the rare step of opposing City Hall's proposal to raise Tampa's property tax rate because of its impact on business.

    The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce voted against supporting a city tax hike on commercial property. Pictured is Bob Rohrlack, CEO of the chamber. | [Times file photo]
  5. Did Hurricane Irma speed the end of Florida orange juice?


    Hurricane Irma plundered Florida's orange belt, leaving a trail of uprooted trees, downed fruit and flooded groves worse than anything growers say they have seen in more than 20 years.

    A large number of oranges lie on the ground at the Story Grove orange grove in the wake of Hurricane Irma on Sept. 13, 2017, in Lake Wales. [Photo by Brian Blanco | Getty Images]