Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Don't like Oklahoma's new license plate? You may be all alone

The Automobile License Plate Collectors Association (ALPCA) has honored the new Oklahoma license plate with the Best Plate Award for new plates first issued in 2009. This is the third time Oklahoma has won this award since its inception in 1970, which means the state joins only three other states to have won three times.

Members of the Association, along with ALPCA President Jeff Francis, were at the state capitol today to present a plaque for the Best Plate Award to officials who spearheaded the redesign efforts, including key legislators, the Oklahoma Tax Commission and the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department.

“We are pleased to be recognized with this award,” said Hardy Watkins, executive director of the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department. “Our agency seeks to promote Oklahoma and brand our state in a way that is modern, yet respectful of our heritage with every opportunity we’re given, including the official license plate. This award affirms a vote by the people of Oklahoma who chose Sacred Rain Arrow over other choices as our new license plate design.”

The Oklahoma plate was chosen by popular vote of the ALPCA’s 3,000 international members from among eight other plates including the new Texas plate. The criteria for judging include the legibility and attractiveness of the plate. The Oklahoma plate narrowly won by a margin of four votes over the new general issue Ohio license plate.

“The Sacred Rain Arrow is symbolic of Oklahoma’s American Indian heritage and while voting, our members specifically noted the striking beauty and clean, legible design of the plate,” said Jeff Francis, president, Automobile License Plate Collectors Association.

The other seven plates each received substantially fewer votes than these two competitors. The Oklahoma plate was nominated by Gus Oliver, an 11-year member of ALPCA. Oliver is a Realtor and reserve police officer in Tulsa. Oliver was also actively involved in promoting passage of the legislation to replace Oklahoma’s aging plates. After legislators were shown photos Oliver had taken of some of the worn out plates, they were convinced of the need for new plates.

Oklahoma license plate designs have a successful history with the ALPCA. Oklahoma tied for first in 1989 with the general issue plate and also won in 2004 with the State Park Pavilion specialty plate. The Agricultural Awareness plate came in second place in 2001 as did the Urban Forestry plate in 2006. No other state has consistently placed so highly in ALPCA’s contest.

For more information about ALPCA, visit their website at http://www.alpca.org/.

The Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department (OTRD) is working to advance the exceptional quality of life in Oklahoma by preserving, maintaining, and promoting our natural assets and cultural richness. The department is the steward of the state park system and also promotes Oklahoma as a travel destination through many award-winning programs. To learn more about Oklahoma’s unique events and attractions, please visit http://www.travelok.com/ or follow us at Facebook.com/TravelOK or Twitter.com/OklahomaTourism.

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