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November 20, 2008

Custom license plate vendor goes out of biz

Plate Texans apparently don’t have an appetite for customized license plates — not even hot pink ones — during tough economic times. My Plates LLC, a firm hired to market specialty plates and bring in a minimum $40 million to state coffers over five years, has ceased operations, company officials said in a statement Thursday. The most popular plate was solid pink. My Plates began its marketing effort Aug. 1 but sold only 1,296 license plates statewide — generating only $168,989 for the state general fund. Those plates will still be honored.

Platebanner “While we are beginning to see increased public interest in our specialty license plates, due to the current economic climate, consumers continue to cut back on discretionary spending,” company president James Power said. “My Plates is simply not established enough to weather this economic downturn.” My plates sold for-profit specialty plates. More than 100 other types of plates that benefit charities, animal shelters and the arts will still be sold through the transportation department. My Plates lost $6 million trying to get the program off the ground, and forfeited a $100,000 performance bond, state officials said. Despite the failure, the Texas Department of Transportation created reflectivity and legibility standards to ensure that any new plate designs would not negatively affect law enforcement. Those standards will benefit police for years to come, deputy executive director Steve Simmons said. “My Plates brought an innovative idea to Texas and I’m disappointed that My Plates is unable to finish implementing this venture that would have brought additional revenue to the state of Texas,” he said.

If you bought one ...

  • Car owners who did business with My Plates can still use the plates for the length of their contract — which ranged from $40 for one year to $795 for 10 years.
  • Questions about plates already in your possession may be directed to the Texas Department of Transportation: 512-465-7611.
  • For unfilled orders submitted to My Plates, call the company: 877-769-7528.

Gordon.

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