Blue Angels License Plate Now Available in Florida
Vehicle owners in Florida are getting the opportunity to make the Blue Angels their wingman, through a new specialty license plate honoring the Navy’s demonstration squadron, in time for its 75th anniversary.
“We really shepherded the original 3,000 pre-sale vouchers that were required to take these plates into production, and quite frankly, we sold out 3,000 well in advance of any of the other newly-approved specialty plates, said Kyle Cozad with the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. The beneficiary of the proceeds to be generated from the plate’s sale.
“Typically, we’ll get $25 per license plate that will benefit the Foundation; that’s kind of a 90% split between our Naval Aviation Museum, and our National Flight Academy here on the [NAS Pensacola] campus.”
The tags are cleared for takeoff one year after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 1135 into law. The plate features four blue and gold F/A-18 Hornets between the words “Florida,” and “Home of the Blue Angels.”
“It’s beautiful artwork; the very sharp, the colors are bright,” said Escambia County Tax Collector Scott Lunsford. “And I think it’s a plate to be proud of. The Blue Angels are always one of the sharpest-looking units you can see. The plates just look great, and I think once we get them on the street, I think they’ll just sell themselves.”
Floridians holding the vouchers to pass the plate in the legislature began picking them up on Saturday, and they became available to the public on Monday. The tags are available at all 67 county tax offices.
“The extra $25 each year should bring in, in excess of $75,000 a year, said Lunsford. “If we keep the minimum plates on the road – which we’ve sold enough vouchers for that.”
And the foundation’s Kyle Cozad says the demand is already high statewide.
“We’ve actually had pretty significant interest as you go down toward Miami, toward Fort Lauderdale, and Tampa,” said Cozad. “We’ll continue to market those, but I’ll tell you what — the thing that’s going to market them the best is when you pull up to a stop sign and you see somebody in front of you that has that plate. You’re going to want to make the run to your local Department of Motor Vehicles to get one for yourself.”
Meanwhile, work is underway to establish another Blue Angels plate during the 2022 legislative session.
“I’ve already committed to running a motorcycle license plate bill for the Blue Angels,” said state rep. Michelle Saltzman (R-Pensacola). She says work on that could prevent her from helping to back an Alzheimer’s measure next year.
“When you run a motorcycle license plate bill, you have to run a fee bill; so that takes up two bill slots,” said Saltzman. “Then there’s the Walkability bill and I’m not sure I’m going to need that bill’s slot. So I don’t want to commit to too many bill slots before I get there.”
As far as what’s on the license plate drawing board, Escambia Taxman Scott Lunsford says plates for the two- and three-wheelers could be the next trend.
“I think you’re going to see more interest in motorcycle specialty plates once these hi the road,” he said. “I think the other organizations will start looking at that as another way to increase the tags on the road, and increase the funding they get yearly.”
The Blue Angels plate is one of five new specialty plates added to the more than 100 now offered by the state; the others are Disney, veterans, women veterans, and Purple Heart.