State unveils new license plate design for 2016

Published: Dec. 15, 2015 at 8:32 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 15, 2015 at 8:35 PM EST
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Photo Source: SCDMV
Photo Source: SCDMV

COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) - South Carolina drivers will see new license plates begin rolling out at the end of the year that feature the state's motto and the motif and colors of the state flag.

The new plate, which has the state motto, "While I Breathe, I Hope," across the top, will replace the "Sunrise" design that was introduced in 2008, according to SCDMV officials. The plate is white and indigo with a Palmetto tree and crescent moon like the state's flag.

The replacement is being done, they say, based on state laws directing periodic reissue cycles and the plate manufacturer's recommendations, according to a release from SCDMV spokesperson Beth Parks.

"The motto is significant, especially this year, as South Carolina recovers from tragedies and flooding that affected our state," the release says.

The new license plate will have only one sticker, at the lower right side of the plate. This will eliminate the need for two stickers -- a month sticker and a year sticker -- that are used on past designs. Officials say the change is a cost-saving measure. Florida, Iowa, Idaho, North Dakota and North Carolina have already switched to the single sticker vehicle registration process.

The state's DMV will begin issuing the license plates in phases at the end of 2015 and will gradually replace the existing "Sunrise" plate. However, motorists may not receive the new plate for years based on when their current plate was issued. The new plates will be mailed to motorists after they pay county property taxes at the end of their biennial registration period in the year their plate is up for reissue.

New plates, when mailed, will have new numbers and will be issued in sequential order, SCDMV officials say.

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