Florida License Plate Redesign Proposal Fails

The Florida Legislature has refused to act on the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) proposal to redesign the state's license plates and move to a central issuance process for distribution of the plates and decals. DHSMV has been publicly pushing this proposal since summer 2012 primarily because the current license plates have "readability" issues with parking enforcement and toll booth scanners and as a result the state claims it is losing revenue. Through negotiations with the DHSMV, TRALA sought and secured commitments for specific changes to the proposal. However, ultimately the leadership in both the Florida House and Senate did not support the costly plan.
 TRALA's discussions with senior DHSMV officials focused on the potential elimination of next-day delivery of credentials, poor plans for use of temporary credentials and the potential loss of business for TRALA members due to trucks not being able to be put into service in a timely manner.  Additionally, the new credentialing process could lead to  increases in cost for guaranteed expedited delivery of credentials and credentials inadvertently being shipped by the state to the lessee rather than to the lessor/owner.
As part of DHSMV's outreach efforts last summer, the Department issued a draft concept paper.  TRALA responded with detail about its concerns and participated in several discussions with the agency. DHSMV acknowledged and agreed with TRALA's concerns.  The agency then added a section in the final draft of their paper which specifically addressed requirements for commercial truck fleets that would have to be met by any potential vendors who would be awarded a contract for the new system.
The redesign and central issuance plan was ultimately not included in the DHSMV legislative package that was sent to the Governor and his Cabinet for his approval and subsequent introduction once the legislative session began. Despite that, DHSMV was still pushing for a license plate redesign during interim committee meetings before the 2013 legislative session officially convened, but Senators on the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee did not take up the proposal. Key legislators in the Florida House, as well as the Senate President were opposed to the cost for a redesign of the license plate.
TRALA appreciates the leadership of Florida Trucking Assocation President & CEO Mary Lou Rajchel during this issue. If you have any questions please contact TRALA's Joe Sculley at or by calling 703-299-9120.