Robin Vos

With Americans spending roughly 300 hours a year in their cars according to the American Automobile Association, it doesn’t surprise me that people want to make a statement with their license plates.

There has been increased interest for specialty and vanity plates around the country and in Wisconsin. Our state now offers more than 50 special license plates. One of the newest is garnering a lot of attention: the Choose Life license plate. In just three months, more than 330 Choose Life plates were issued.

The Choose Life plate is the first of its kind in Wisconsin. It was introduced in October of last year. It has an ink stamp of a baby’s foot on the left side and the words ‘Choose Life’ along the bottom of the plate. The annual renewal fee of the plates is the usual $75 and it includes a $25 tax deductible contribution to Choose Life Wisconsin, Inc. You will also be charged a one-time $15 issuance fee, totaling $115 for your plates. You can even personalized your Choose Life plate for a little extra. The $25 tax deductible contribution is given to Choose Life Wisconsin who then distributes the funds to various Wisconsin Pregnancy Resource Centers to aid in adoption work.

Wisconsin Pregnancy Resource Centers provide many resources for expectant mothers including counseling, free ultrasounds, parenting classes and assisting in adoptions. This work is critical for both the mothers and the babies in ensuring they have the best experience possible. Purchasing this specialty plate is a great way to help these organizations that do such good work.

Applying for a new license plate is easy and shouldn’t take you very long. First, visit wisconsindot.gov. Under the DMV info drop down menu, there is a section titled vehicles. In that drop down section, you will be able to select either a section on titles and plates. On the left hand side, you will see a variety of specialty plates, including the Choose Life plate. Each plate has its own specific application form. To get a Choose Life plate, fill out and print off the form and mail it the Wisconsin Department of Transportation along with your check or money order made out to Registration Fee Trust.

More special plates like the Choose Life plate may be on the way in Wisconsin thanks to a recent change by the Wisconsin State Legislature. Previously, groups who wanted to create a special license plate had to find a legislator to sponsor a bill to authorize a plate. That bill then had to be approved by legislature and signed into law by the governor. Now, all a group has to do is pay a development fee to the Department of Motor Vehicles, collect 500 signatures in support of the plate, and fill out an application.

Special plates and vanity plates are a fun way to make a statement. Fortunately, in Wisconsin you can make a pro-life statement and help the important work to save innocent lives.