South Carolina drivers will begin receiving new license plate designs when they register their vehicle starting next year.
South Carolina’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) revealed the new design Tuesday, saying the new format will save the agency money. The agency will begin supplying the plates to new drivers in February, while current residents using the older plates will gradually get the new ones when they re-register starting in 2018.
The new plates will have a blue Palmetto tree and crescent similar to the state flag located in the center of the plate, with a white and indigo blue background. The state motto “While I Breathe, I Hope” is also written across the top in cursive.
“The motto is significant for South Carolina. The state has proven its resilience this year and become the example for other states,” said Acting Executive Director John Laganelli said in a statement.
DMV said it plans to reduce the area on the plate for validation stickers from two spaces to one. The new stickers will have both the month and year which will eliminate the need for a month sticker. A DMV spokeswoman estimated the change would save the agency more than $800,000 during the sticker reissue cycle.
Customers who pay their vehicle fees will still receive one of the new stickers if they have an older license plate. Officials say drivers should place their new sticker on the right side of the plate. The new stickers will alternate colors for each calendar year to help law enforcement determine the validity of a license plate from a distance.
“It’s a transitional process that will take a couple of years,” Laganelli said. “We are encouraging the public to make sure their address is correct in our records. Anyone that needs to update an address can go online and do so free of charge at the DMV website.”
South Carolina is not the first state to make this change to a single sticker. Florida, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, North Dakota and North Carolina have already switched to the single sticker vehicle registration process.