Tips, Tricks & Trends

Vermont is Considering This Hilarious New Law for License Plates

You’ve probably heard of vanity plates, which allow motorists the opportunity to personalize their vehicle’s license plates with specific numbers and letters, phrases, or even pictures. But the small state of Vermont has a strange and hilarious new bill proposal that will change the way you look at license plates forever.

Vermont’s weird new license plate proposal

Offering motorists options for license plates is nothing new, but Vermont’s latest bill proposal could take personalization to a whole, new level. According to Autoblog, lawmakers in Vermont are “debating whether to let motorists request a license plate with an emoji on it.” The proposal has not been signed into law yet but would result in thousands of faces hitting the roads on the backs state-issued and custom license plates.

The draft bill was introduced at the beginning of 2020, and if approved, it would allow the creation of a “new type of license plate that adds an emoji to the random numerical sequence assigned by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.”

A representative of Vermont, Rebecca White, claims that the proposal would allow motorists to choose between six pre-approved emojis, though the specific faces to be chosen are yet to be released. Also not released yet is how many numbers would accompany the emoji on the license plate. But if passed, Vermont motorists can also use their imaginations to create “a personalized plate that consists of an emoji plus letters and/or numbers.” Though a weird proposal, personalized emoji license plates might lure in motorists and make money for the state.

How the new bill could be a moneymaker for the state

A New England Patriots fan holds a Vermont "Pats Win" license plate before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium on September 10, 2015
A New England Patriots fan holds up a Vermont license plate | Jim Rogash/Getty Images

“All states issue some sort of specialty plates,” according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Starting back in 1976, states began offering specialty plates as a way to gain additional revenue. The number of available options varies by state, with states like Montana offering around 200 specialty plates and states like Maryland offering more than 800. But it’s not just the states that benefit as many organizations team up with states. The Tennessee Arts Commission, for example, earned more than $4.5 million in four years off its specialty plates, while the Idaho Department of Fish and Game receives around $850,000 each year from the sale of its own license plates.

According to Business Insider, the bill would make Vermont the “first U.S. state to allow the images” on license plates. But just like all other vanity plates, Vermont stands to make money off of the proposal. Though the price of these specialized emoji license plates has yet to be determined, Representative White feels the proposal is a win-win. According to VT Digger, White thinks “it’s a fun idea and it has the potential to raise revenue.”

Aside from its obvious financial gains, the new bill could have additional benefits for the state of Vermont. In general, the state is aging. Personalized emoji license plates could help interest more young people in moving to the state as well as gain the state some attention.

Odd car laws across the U.S. 

Vermont isn’t the only state that’s proposed an odd car law. In fact, every state has a questionable bill or two. According to Car and Driver, it’s illegal in the state of Rhode Island to pass another vehicle without honking your horn. It’s also illegal for your tires to be too dirty in Minnetonka, Minnesota and to drive without a steering wheel in Illinois (seems obvious).

According to Nationwide Insurance, it’s illegal to drive while blindfolded in Alabama, drive your car in reverse on a public road in Arizona, and spit from any vehicle¬†other than a truck in Georgia. In Florida, you are legally obligated to feed the parking meter if you tie an elephant, goat, or alligator to it.