Blackout license plates bringing in big bucks for State of Iowa

Local News

WEST DES MOINES — The Iowa Department of Transportation has made an estimated $850,000 through September on the popular blackout license plates, according to numbers provided to Local 5.

And they anticipate making even more money by year’s end.

Vehicle owners can purchase standard number blackout plates online or at their local treasurer’s office. Make sure your county office has the blackout plate in stock. Several counties have run out of plates including Polk and Story counties.

Story County announced this week that they have blackout plates back in stock.

In Polk County, you can check online to see wait times at the treasurer’s office.

The Iowa DOT says approximately 19,500 blackout plates have been issued so far.

How is the state making so much money on the plates?

The fees for the trendy plates are higher than other plates and include a renewal fee. There is a $35 initial fee for the blackout plate, plus an annual registration renewal fee of $10 for standard, alpha-numeric plates.

Customized blackout plates will run you $60: $35 for the plate fee and an additional fee of $25 for customization. The annual registration renewal fee for custom blackout plates is $15.

The Iowa DOT says the money will go towards the road fund, which is the same budget that is funded by the gas tax to fix roads and bridges.

Preview your own personalized blackout plates here.

How do you order standard or customized blackout plates?

  • Online order form is available through the Iowa DOT’s website. Processing
  • In-person ordering available at local treasurer’s offices
  • $35 initial fee for the Blackout Plate with $10 annual registration renewal fee
  • Customized blackout plates are available online at the DOT website. Cost = $60 initial fee ($25 custom plate fee + $35 for Blackout Plate fee) + $15 annual registration fee ($5 validation fee + $10 for the Blackout Plate fee) at time of renewal
  • Personalized license plates may consist of up to seven characters and numbers. All personalized plate choices must have at least two characters.

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