Wilson County Hopes to Be First in State to Get Own License Plate

Wilson County Hopes to Be First in State to Get Own License Plate

Wilson County residents may soon be able to get a specialty license plate honoring their county, but the county government needs local resident’s help to make it a reality. They must reach 1,000 pre-orders soon. The plate is a great way to be proud of the county, plus a portion of the proceeds of each annual fee will go to support Wilson Rides Inc. Wilson Rides provides safe transportation for older adults to local destinations.

The Wilson County “The Place to Be” license plate was designed by a local graphic designer who is a resident of Watertown. The artist graduated from Wilson Central High School and received a degree from MTSO college.

Preorders of 1,000 plates must happen before the state will allow it to go into production. Pre-orders are continuing online now. According to Susan Shaw, Project Administrator, Wilson County Mayor’s Office, they are currently at 647 pre-ordered plates.

While the pre-sale of the plate has been approved by the State Legislature, the approval of production will not take place until the pre-order number has been reached. The sooner it is the better, as the county will be asking for an extension to make it happen. Shaw says that production will likely be early 2023.

The cost of the new plate is $35 if paid by check and $37 if paid by credit card or Venmo. Currently, it can still be ordered online through Wilson Rides. The total annual fee for a specialty license plate in Tennessee is $61.50, versus the standard plate fee of $26.50.

Out of the $35 specialty plate fee, a small amount goes towards producing the plate, 50% will go to the non-profit Wilson Rides Inc., 40% to the Tennessee Arts Commission, and 10% to the Tennessee Highway fund. The fee is tax-deductible.

After the county reaches 1,000 pre-ordered plates, they will go back to the legislature to seek approval of the production and distribution of the plates. Once that occurs, then those who pre-ordered will receive a letter from the Tennessee Department of Revenue telling purchasers when their new plate will be available for pick up at the county clerk’s office. Those who purchased a pre-ordered plate will not be able to personalize the plates in any way, but will have to wait until they renew next year to do that.

Any remaining time left on an old license plate will receive a credit, unless the plates are 30 days or less away from expiration. This includes expired plates. New tags will expire in one year from the day they are issued, just like regular tags. Once old plates are changed out for the new they are no longer viable and can be kept or disposed of, but not used on any other vehicle.

Specialty plates cannot be used on commercial vehicles or vehicles not registered in Tennessee. Those wishing to purchase the new plate for more than one vehicle must apply for the specialty plate for each vehicle separately. Application applies to only one vehicle.

There are more than 100 different specialty plates available in the state of Tennessee, however there are no other counties offering one to their residents. The closest option is one issued for Historic Franklin. Proceeds from it benefit Franklin Tomorrow Inc. It is a non-profit dedicated to a community-wide effort to create and implement a shared vision for the future of Franklin, Tennessee.

Be one of the first to get a license plate that supports Wilson County and a great local non-profit organization. For more information click here.

Contact Gaye Lynn Wilson, Director of Wilson Rides, Inc. at [email protected] or Susan Shaw, Office of Wilson County mayor at [email protected] for any additional information about the Wilson County “The Place to Be” license plate.

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