HELENA - Montana’s specialty plate program — which works to support non-profits throughout Montana — brought in over $5.5 million for state non-profits in 2021 alone.
The 57th Montana Legislature passed an act in 2001 allowing Montana’s Motor Vehicle Division to issue specialty plates.
The first two plates offered were the Glacier National Park plate and the Lewis & Clark bicentennial plate.
Any non-profit can apply to have its own plate.
Groups currently with plates include Prickly Pear Land Trust to the Eureka Montana Quilt Show.
In addition to administration and production costs, the plates also require a donation to be given.
Currently, there are 235 specialty plates available and there’s an average of six-to-eight new plates introduced bi-annually.
Montana sits as the fifth highest in terms of the number of license plates in the country, while Maryland currently holds the top spot with over 700 plate options.
The Bird of Prey is Montana’s current number one specialty plate.
The law changed in 2019 in order to remove plates that weren’t receiving enough funding.
The minimum requirement of plates sold is 400 sets with current registration after three years since the plate’s inception.
Plates are reviewed at the beginning of every year and at the beginning of 2022, eight plates were revoked.
If a plate goes out of commission, current owners of that plate must choose a new plate when they renew registration for that motor vehicle.
Motor Vehicle Division Administrator, Laurie Bakri says that the plate program does a whole lot to support non-profits throughout Montana.
“I think it's very important that the citizens have a way to support their organizations that they care about," Bakri said.
"And we're just really happy to be a part of that process where people can support their organization easily,” Bakri continued.
Discontinued Montana license plates since beginning of 2022:
- Montana Fire Trustees
- Belgrade Education Foundation
- Montana Diva Foundation
- Montanan Community Development Corporation
- Montana Youth and Family Camps
- Rocky Mountain Student Scholarship
- Recycle Montana
- Richland Youth Hocke