New License Plates Hit the Roads

DES MOINES, Iowa – All 99 counties in Iowa are distributing the new license plates to the public.

The design was first made public at the 2017 Iowa State Fair when people voted on three different options through an online poll.

The new plates have a blue line across the top featuring downtown Des Moines and farms. Across the center is white with large black letters and numbers. The lower part of the plate has a grass design with the county listed.

Iowa State Patrol Sergeant Nathan Ludwig said the new plates are more visible on the roads.

“Just the visibility of the plates is a lot better. I don’t know if it is something with the colors on them, but it looks to appear the numbers and letters are a little bit bolder and thicker, therefore easier for us to read going down the road,” Ludwig said.

According to the Iowa Department of Transportation there are 120,433 new plates in the circulation.

Iowa DOT Strategic Communications Director Andrea Henry said people receive new license plates every 10 years, so the ones with older plates will be receiving the new designs first. Vehicles are selected off an automated system.

Ludwig said it is important to have an updated registration sticker, regardless of what license plate is currently on the vehicle.

“You are required by law to put in the bottom left hand corner. We will see a lot of people who will actually alter their sticker, color them in, put a piece of red tape on. I have an example of someone who wrote July 2018 on their plate,” Ludwig said.

Ludwig said officers have not seen alterations on the new license plates yet.

If someone wants to receive the new design plates sooner he or she can purchase them at their local treasurer’s office for five dollars.

To learn more about vehicle registration in Iowa, click here.