ORANGE CITY—A new specialized license plate design became available in Iowa this summer, and Sioux County treasurer Randy Jacobsma said it’s already proving to be popular with Sioux County motorists.
Jacobsma told the Sioux County Board of Supervisors that his department has four dozen orders of the state’s new blackout license plate design, which features white numbers and letters on a plain, black background.
The special black and white license plates became available July 1, and they can be personalized. They can be ordered online through the Iowa Department of Transportation’s website or by mail using a form.
For a standard number, the blackout design will cost $35, while a personalized one would cost $60.
Jacobsma said the blackout design looks nice when paired up with black colored vehicles.
According to Melissa Spiegel, Iowa DOT director of the motor vehicle division, the state has issued more than 7,000 of the new blackout plates so far.
Jacobsma said the new design is similar to Dordt University’s specialized license plate design, which also has white numbers and letters on a black background, but with an additional white stripe along the plate’s top and bottom and the university’s logo in the top left corner of the plate.
Because of its colors, Dordt has had one of the more popular college and university license plates that are available in the state.
“The most popular college plate in the state was the University of Iowa and second was Iowa State and the third was Dordt,” Jacobsma said.
According to Dordt University vice president of enrollment and marketing Brandon Huisman, private universities do not receive portions of sales money from their license plate designs.
The Dordt license plate was designed by Dordt University creative director Jamin Ver Velde in 2011, and since then, nearly 1,600 Dordt license plates have been sold as of July, Huisman said.
“A lot of people utilized our plate because it matched with the aesthetics they were going for, for their car,” said Sarah Moss, Dordt University director of marketing and communication. “Across the state, you’d have souped up vehicles that have a Dordt license plate.”
As it turns out, Jacobsma said people would order a Dordt license plate, and then they would cover the Dordt logo and white stripes with tape or license plate frames to make their own blacked out license plate.
According to Spiegel, the design was approved by the state with these motorists in mind, as it is illegal in Iowa to cover up any printed numbers and letters on a license plate, including any printed reference to a county or college.
With the new design, motorists chasing a certain look for their vehicles have a legal alternative.