Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communication Office
Governor Ernie Fletcher unveils new Unbridled Spirit license plate

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, July 19, 2005  
Contact Information:  Carla Blanton
Michael Goins
Jodi Whitaker
502-564-2611
 


Image of new license plate

Sun Sets on “Smiley Face” Plate

FRANKFORT, Ky. – As the sun sets on the “smiley face” license plate, Kentucky’s unbridled spirit is racing to the forefront.  Governor Ernie Fletcher, joined by officials from the Transportation Cabinet and Department of Tourism, unveiled Kentucky’s new license plate today at Kentucky Speedway.  The announcement officially marks the sunset of the “smiley face” plate.

“This is a phenomenal opportunity to showcase our new state brand,” stated Governor Ernie Fletcher. “We wanted a plate that is clean, striking and promotes  Kentucky’s Unbridled Spirit. We are very excited about the new license plate and hope this captures the approval of every citizen throughout the commonwealth.”

Beginning August 1, 2005, residents who acquire a vehicle or who transfer a vehicle title to Kentucky will receive the new license plate.  Effective January 1, 2006, a resident renewing registration will receive the new plate.  By the end of 2006, all regular passenger vehicle plates will be the new “Unbridled Spirit” plate. 

“By next December there will be more than two million plates visible throughout the commonwealth,” said Acting Transportation Cabinet Secretary Bill Nighbert.  “The cabinet is putting to rest the “smiley face” license plate after many requests from constituents. We feel the new plate clearly represents the brand that the citizens of the commonwealth endorse.”

There is no additional cost to taxpayers to produce the new license plates. The cost is covered from a replating fund. The plates are for passenger vehicles only. The brand may also be incorporated on the specialty plates in the coming months.

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An inmate at the Kentucky State Reformatory checks a new “Unbridled Spirit” license plate during the stamping process.
An inmate at the Kentucky State Reformatory checks a new “Unbridled Spirit” license plate during the stamping process.

Stacks of new “Unbridled Spirit” license plates sit ready for stamping.
Stacks of new “Unbridled Spirit” license plates sit ready for stamping.

Kentucky’s new license plates roll off the stamping line at Kentucky State Reformatory in LaGrange.
Kentucky’s new license plates roll off the stamping line at Kentucky State Reformatory in LaGrange.

Boxes of new “Unbridled Spirit” license plates sit waiting to be shipped.
Boxes of new “Unbridled Spirit” license plates sit waiting to be shipped.