Augusta – Senator Garrett Mason (R-Androscoggin) has introduced a measure to commemorate Maine’s Bicentennial year with a new license plate.

LD 1273, “Resolve, To Create a License Plate To Recognize the Bicentennial of the State,” creates a commemorative simulated motor vehicle registration plate in celebration of Maine’s bicentennial. The Secretary of State is directed to design and issue the plate, which may be displayed beginning January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2020.

At the public hearing in front of the Legislature’s Transportation Committee, the Secretary of State’s Office, which oversees both the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and the State Archives, expressed support for the bill.

“As Maine gears up to celebrate 200 years as an independent state, I am excited about the opportunity for citizens to express pride in our great state,” said Senator Mason. “The creation of bicentennial plates lets Mainers share their enthusiasm for our history, while providing funds for a worthy cause.”

These plates would not replace the current license plate on a vehicle, but would be displayed by covering, not removing, the front registration plate. As a result, revenues will not be lost for specialty license plates and causes such as conservation, the university system, and cancer research and support programs. The Bicentennial plates can also be displayed on vehicles registered outside of Maine.

Though the bill language as drafted indicates the funds raised from the plates would go to the Maine Historic Preservation Fund, Senator Mason has expressed he is willing to work with the committee to determine if another fund may be a more appropriate beneficiary, though one still in the sphere of cultural promotion or historic preservation.

A work session on the bill has been scheduled for Tuesday, April 28th.