OLYMPIA—The Department of Licensing (DOL) has modified the plan announced last month for issuing seven-character license plates for use on passenger cars and sport-utility vehicles.
DOL will begin issuing a new, seven-character configuration in November or early December as announced, but the arrangement of letters and numbers on the plates has changed.
After consulting with the agency’s law enforcement partners, the decision was made to adopt a configuration many feel will be easier to remember. The new plates will have three letters followed by four numbers (AAA1111).
The plate configuration plan being abandoned consisted of a number, a letter, two more numbers and then three letters (1A11AAA).
After announcing the new configuration on October 7, the agency was contacted by a number of people asking for a reconsideration of the arrangement of numbers and letters. The majority of those who contacted DOL were not opposed to having seven characters, but felt the configuration selected would be difficult to remember.
“We carefully considered all of the comments we received and decided, with the help of our law enforcement partners, to change the plan,” DOL Director Liz Luce said.
This change will not delay DOL’s ability to issue the new plates on time. None of the new plates with the abandoned configuration were produced, so the change won’t result in any additional costs or waste of materials.
The new configuration will yield about 138 million possible combinations.
Neighborhood vehicle licensing offices around the state will begin issuing the new seven-character plates after exhausting their stock of the current six-character plates. This means the new plates will be available at different times in different locations around the state.
As previously announced, the overall appearance of the passenger vehicle plates will not change. They will still feature the standard mountain background currently in use.
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