MADD Tennessee is happy to report that we have been granted a one-year extension to pre-sell the minimum 1,000 plates necessary for the state to reinstate the MADD Specialty License plate! The new deadline is June 30, 2019.
While that is great news, the bad news is that we are far from our goal. As of April 27, 2018, we were only about 10% of the way there.
To help you better understand the significance of the plate and why we are where we are today, we have a few FAQs below and a timeline that shows the history of the plate in Tennessee.
What is the MADD Tennessee Specialty License Plate?
Tennessee has a program in which over 100 versions of a legal Tennessee license plate are available. These plates highlight various non-profit organizations, causes, and educational institutions who receive a portion of the proceeds paid by vehicle owners to display the plate as their legal license plate. The program allows vehicle owners to show their support of these organizations and benefits the organizations by supplying a revenue stream.
What happened to the MADD Tennessee license plate?
For a specialty plate to be cost effective for the state to produce and manage, there are minimum guidelines about the number that must be sold and/or renewed each year to maintain the plates in circulation. In 2016, MADD Tennessee fell just shy of the 500/year minimum and our plate was retired.
Why is the MADD Tennessee plate important?
For many victims, the loss of the MADD Tennessee plate was devastating. The plate stood for something. It was a way to speak for loved ones taken needlessly by a 100% preventable crime. It was a door opened to say the name of a child who no longer calls to talk to Mom. It was a message to remind others to always designate a non-drinking driver or find a safe ride home in a taxi or ride-sharing service. It was a way to “do” something, a way to remember and honor those killed and injured, and a hope that even one person would see it and make a better choice. In addition, the plate generates approximately $12,000-15,000/year in revenue to support MADD’s mission.
So why did MADD have a hard time maintaining the 500/year minimum number in circulation?
We can only speculate. But some of the feedback we’ve received was that often people were willing to pay the additional $35 fee to get the Specialty Plate, but once they had it on their vehicle, they didn’t realize they needed to annually pay that additional fee in order to renew their MADD plate and keep it. Our biggest struggle seemed to be in maintaining renewals of the plate each year.
So why is MADD running a campaign to pre-sell more plates?
Once you lose your plate, you have to start all over proving to the state that there is enough interest in your oranization’s specialty plate to make it worthwhile for them to add it to the
program again. In order for them to reinstate our plate, we now have to have 1,000 plates pre-sold by June 30, 2019.