Report of the “Oklahoma License Plate Design Task Force”
Pursuant to the provisions of Senate Bill 748 a new section of law was codified (47 O.S. Section 1113.3) that created the “Oklahoma License Plate Design Task Force.” The task force was supported administratively by the staff of the State Senate with assistance from the Tax Commission, the Department of Public Safety and the Department of Tourism and Recreation. The charge of the task force was to choose the design of a new official Oklahoma license plate. Issuance of a new plate will require authorization by the Legislature.
The members of the task force are:
The first meeting of the task force was held on Tuesday, November 6, 2007, at 1:30 p.m. in Room 419-C of the State Capitol Building. At the meeting members heard from representatives of the Tax Commission that the current general issue state license plate featuring a white background with “Oklahoma” in black letters across the top, the shield that appears on Oklahoma’s state flag in the center and “Native America” in red letters across the bottom had been in existence since 1993. The Representative from the Department of Public Safety stated that his concerns were simply that any new design feature numbers and letters in a color that provides a distinct design contrast with the background in the plate identification area. Representatives from the Department of Tourism and Recreation informed the members that it was important to them that any new design continue to display the phrase “Native America” because of the ongoing success of promotional campaigns associating the State of Oklahoma and the phrase “Native America.”
The task force directed the three state agencies to jointly develop a series of new license plate designs for presentation to the task force at the next meeting (scheduled for November 27, 2007) and to also consider the best methods for presenting any possible selections to the public for a selection process. The process should be similar to the one which allowed Oklahomans to vote on the design for the state quarter.
The second meeting of the task force was held on Tuesday, November 27, 2007, at 1:30 p.m. in Room 419-C of the State Capitol Building. During this meeting, the Department of Tourism and Recreation presented the members with multiple design proposals for a new license plate design. The design proposals all featured the phrase “Native America” across the bottom of the license plate and “Oklahoma” in various styles across the top of the license plate. The members narrowed the choices to their top five (5) preferences for the Department of Tourism and Recreation to refine prior to submission for public comment. The Department of Tourism and Recreation had already started the process of securing permissions from the artists whose work was being utilized for use with any new designs. The task force recessed subject to call of the chair and anticipated another possible hearing being called for the finalized designs with the refinements discussed by the Department of Public Safety and the members of the committee during discussion. The task force will be seeking a brief extension of time to finalize their submission of a selection process and plate designs once permissions are received.
Also at this meeting, the representative from the Department of Public Safety stated that their only remaining concern would be that the fonts used for display of the assigned license plate numbers and letters be established in a method by which law enforcement personnel could clearly distinguish the difference between such letters and numbers. In addition, the representative from the Oklahoma Tax Commission expressed a few concerns regarding associated administrative issues. Primarily, he was concerned about having sufficient notice and lead-time to obtain inventory and subsequently implement the issuance of a newly designed license plate.
At the conclusion of the meeting the Department of Tourism and Recreation was asked to commence planning for the future display of the selected design proposals on their web-site in a manner that will allow the general public to participate in the selection process and to contact the various artists involved in submitting the proposed license plate redesigns for the purpose of seeking copyright permission.