Monday, November 17, 2008

Florida's Specialty License Plate for Organ Donation

On July 1, 2006, the State of Florida began offering motorists a new specialty license plate option: "Donate Organs. Pass It On."

In case you're unfamiliar with the program, Florida allows specialty license plates as a fundraising mechanism. Legislative action is required to establish a new plate and applicants must meet demanding eligibility criteria, including obtaining the sponsoring support of a state senator and representative. Once requirements are met and the Legislature approves the bill, the new plate becomes official and production begins.

Here are some stats about Florida specialty license plates for 2007:
- Florida has 109 specialty plates
- Over 1,562,000 plates were purchased (in 2007 alone)
- Most popular plate? University of Florida (more than 105,000 bought)
- "Donate Organs" plate was ranked 89th, with 1,101 issued

Pretty amazing, huh? (1.562M x $25 = a LOT of money!) The plates do more than raise funds; they also raise awareness. I'm a moving billboard of sorts, and I hope the plate reminders drivers following my car to become an organ donor.

I bought a "Donate Organs" plate as soon as I could, in June 2007 when I renewed my license plate. It's a colorful, uplifting design, don't ya think? The $25 fee I paid for the plate (above standard license plate fees) goes to Transplant Foundation, Inc., which is affiliated with the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami (Florida), and the money is used to increase awareness of and provide education about the need for organ donation.

I encourage all Floridians to consider getting a specialty license plate. Even in these tough economic times, $25 is an affordable way to support a cause that is near and dear to your heart (or liver, in my case). It's an easy way to help make our world better.

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