Just how many specialty license plates are there?

The in basket: Greg Salo of Silverdale writes to say, “With the 2012 introduction of the new WSU crimson college license plate design, I am curious about the number of special plates on the roads.

“There are 40 special plates available (seven college plates, 13 military plates, seven organizational plates, seven parks and rec plates, and six hobby plates.)

“Is there an online site where the state details the amount of money each organization earns annually through the $28 donation that is associated with each plate?  Or alternatively an online site that lists (how many there are) of  of each plate registered annually?

Greg helpfully included a Web addresses he’d found listing the various specialty plates and what they cost to acquire. It’s

http://www.dol.wa.gov/vehicleregistration/specialdesign.html.

The out basket: Brad Benfield , spokesman for the Department of Licensing, says, “The total number of specialty plate types offered can vary depending on how you define them. When we create reports, we have 31 that typically are reported on.

“We don’t typically include rideshare, disabled parking, collector vehicle, horseless carriage, restored, ham radio, medal of honor, gold star parent, former POW, or disabled American veteran (plates). These don’t generally get included because of one or more of the following reasons: They aren’t used for fundraising, they aren’t fundamentally different from standard plates, there are very few of them actually issued and/or they are available to a very small population of vehicle owners.”

He included a spreadsheet that showed how many of each kind of plate existed as of 2011.

Vanity plates were far and away the most numerous, with 88,170 of them. Others, in descending order of abundance, are Washington State University (14,309), Law Enforcement Memorial (9,866),  University of Washington (7,047), Wild on Washington (5,580), Professional Firefighters and Paramedics (4,521), U.S. Army (4,448), Endangered Wildlife (4,161), Washington National Park Fund (4,143), Washington Wildlife – Elk (4,098), Washington Lighthouse (3,954), Share the Road (3,904), Washington State Parks and Recreation (3,222), Stadium (2,923), U.S. Navy (2,827), Marines (2,758), U.S. Air Force (2,,417), We Love Our Pets (2.227), Washington Wildlife – Bear (2,157) Keep Kids Safe (1,605), Ski and Ride Washington (1,520), Gonzaga University Alums (1,390), Helping Kids Speak (1,445), Washington Wildlife -Deer (1,378), Square Dancing (858), Eastern Washington University (855), Western Washington University (832),  Coast Guard (721), Central Washington University (636), National Guard (475) and The Evergreen State College (161).

Revenue from the sales, for those agencies required to report it, is $338,293 for the various military plates combined, $257,801 for the Law Enforcement Memorial, $498,886 for the combined Washington Wildlife plates, $140,285 for Wild on Washington, and $124,063 for Professional Firefighters and Paramedics. Endangered Wildlife, Washington National Parks Fund, Washington’s Lighthouse and Share the Road are grouped at between $106,000 and $109,000 each, followed by Washington State Parks at $76,416, We Love Our Pets at $59,021, Keep Kids Safe at $44,856, Helping Kids Speak at $39,734, Gonzaga U at 38,187 and Ski and Ride Washington at $38,107.

That information is not available online.

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