Find information on requesting a new plate design for your organization, including who can request a new design and introduce a bill with your legislative sponsor.
- Find out who can request a new plate design
- Design the plate and gather the supporting materials you'll need
- Apply for your special plate
- Introduce the bill with your legislative sponsor
1. Find out who can request a new plate design
To request a new plate, your organization must:
- Be located in WA
- Meet the sponsoring organization requirements, see RCW 46.18.100: Sponsoring organization requirements.
- And be a:
- Nonprofit, see 26 USC Sec. 501(c)(3) — Exemption from tax on corporations, certain trusts, etc. (cornell.edu)
- Professional sports franchise working in conjunction with a nonprofit organization.
- Government agency:
- County, city, town, municipal corporation, or special taxing jurisdiction,
- Federally recognized tribe,
- State agency,
- Community or Technical College.
2. Design the plate and gather the supporting materials you'll need
- Design the proposed plate. See the Specialty Plate Design Guide for more information.
- Plate colors:
- The specialty color palette shows colors that currently pass the DOT infrared camera tests.
- Passing colors have a green check mark.
- Failing colors have a red ‘X.’
- Many shades of blue aren't recognized by infrared. It's recommended if you use a blue background that you use a darker shade with white lettering.
- DOL and DOT can't guarantee which colors will pass.
- DOT camera testing will determine the readability of the plate design. If a plate fails the readability test, you'll need to make changes and retest until it passes.
- Develop marketing strategies including:
- Short and long–term marketing plans.
- Financial analysis of the anticipated revenue and how you'll spend it.
- Get a legislative sponsor's signature for the proposed legislation. You can find contact information for the members of the Legislature here: http://app.leg.wa.gov/Rosters/Members.
- Create draft legislation. Visit the Bill Drafting Guide for details.
- Complete the Special License Plate Series Application.
- Provide proof that your organization qualifies.
- Use the Special License Plate Series Signature Sheet to collect enough signatures to show that at least 3,500 plates will be purchased.
- You can also collect these signatures through an online tool.
3. Apply for your special plate
- Email all the items above to SpPlateUnit@dol.wa.gov.
- Send a copy of your application and a check or money order for the $6,300 startup fees (payable to the Department of Licensing) to:
Department of Licensing
PO Box 9035
Olympia WA 98507–9035
- Make sure you keep copies of the materials you submit.
- When we receive the materials, we'll review them and let you and your legislative sponsor know if we've approved your design or not.
- We'll hold your startup fees until legislative approval of the plate occurs. If it's not approved within 3 years we'll refund the startup fees.
4. Introduce the bill with your legislative sponsor
- Once we've approved your plate you'll need to discuss introducing the bill with your legislative sponsor.