One of the time-honored ways She Who Must Be Obeyed and I pass the time on long road trips is by playing the License Plate Game.
It’s not anything that requires a whole lot of brain power. You look at the various license plates you see on the highway, make a note of what states or provinces they’re from, and tally up the total at the end of the trip. Simple stuff.
There’s even iPhone software to help you keep track of the tags you’ve found. Yep - there’s an app for that! (Because sometimes pencil and paper are so... archaic.)
One of the things we could not help but notice was the incredible - nay, ridiculous - variety of Florida tags. There is a profusion of different license plates, allowing Sunshine State motorists to proclaim their love and allegiance to any number of causes, be they sports teams, colleges, or favorite ideologies.
Just how many different plates are there? To find out, I went to Florida’s official license tag website, where I discovered that, in addition to the two “standard” license tags (one with the traditional Sunshine State motto, the other with the pandering-to-the-religious right In God We Trust motto), Florida offers an amazing 115 - count ’em! - specialty license tags. Here’s the breakdown...
Environmental: 20, including “Save the Manatee,” “Sea Turtle,” and “Save the Whales - Collect Them All - Win Valuable Prizes”
Miscellaneous: 49, including “Live the Dream,” whatever the hell that means, and “NASCAR”
Professional Sports Franchises: 9
Holy fuckamoley, that’s a lotta different tags! But is that an anomaly? How about Georgia?
Well, Georgia currently issues 109 different specialty tags, including those for universities, various branches of the military (and specific conflicts), and other “special interest” plates. So maybe Florida is nothing special...
...except nowhere else have we seen so many people actually driving around with all those different tags. In Georgia, you see ’em... but they’re not, seemingly, on every other car. And you don’t see the sheer variety you do here in SoFl.
What’s the License Tag situation like where you live? Inquiring (and easily distracted) minds want to know.
Update: SWMBO had a theory about why Florida specialty tags appear to be so numerous: In most states (e.g., Georgia), the specialty tags carry more-or-less the same color scheme as the basic tag... but in Florida, the designs are all completely different - as though a rainbow had thrown up on ’em (quoth SWMBO). And I think she has a good point.
4 years ago