SUN SETS ON “SMILEY FACE” PLATE Unbridled Spirit to Replace Old Plates Beginning Next Week
The state’s “Unbridled Spirit” brand, which has seized the imagination of the Commonwealth, will soon be issued to everyone renewing their passenger vehicle registration. Kentucky Transportation Cabinet officials announced today that the supply of “smiley face” plates has almost been entirely depleted.
Earlier today Cabinet officials acknowledged that the state would not be making any more of the old smiley face plates. Acting Transportation Cabinet Secretary Bill Nighbert said “Beginning Monday, September 19, motorists will receive a new Unbridled Spirit plate instead of a decal when they renew their registration. It represents the dawning of a new day in Kentucky.”
The re-plating process was scheduled to begin in January. That timetable was changed when Transportation Cabinet managers discovered that the inventory of “smiley face” plates would be exhausted before October. The re-plating process will continue for the next 12 months and all the “smiley face” plates will be off the road by the end of September, 2006.
“Our proactive management ensures a smooth transition from the old plate to the new Unbridled Spirit license plate,” said Roy Mundy, Commissioner for the Department of Vehicle Regulation. “We are not wasting any old plates while the new brand will be distributed in mass. It’s a win-win situation.”
Approximately two million new plates will be produced over the next year at a total cost of $3.5 million. The re-plating process is not costing taxpayers anything. Those costs are covered by a fifty cent “re-plating fee” charged to each vehicle registration in Kentucky. Funds from that fee are placed into an escrow account. The escrow account will cover all the costs.
Kentucky’s Unbridled Spirit plates made their debut August first, for vehicles being registered in Kentucky for the first time. Governor Ernie Fletcher unveiled the new license plate design during a press conference at the Kentucky Speedway in mid July.