New plates could put a walleye, chickadee or whitetail on your bumperby Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Minnesota is updating its wildlife license plates with four new designs, and state officials are asking the public to weigh in on what they'll look like.
The Department of Natural Resources has settled on eight proposed designs for the new plates. The vehicle licenses may include a lady slipper, a deer, a pheasant, a chickadee, a walleye, a pair of loons, a wood duck and a fishing scene.
DNR Commissioner Mark Holsten says he hopes the plates will renew interest in the "Reinvest in Minnesota" program. Purchase of the plates includes a 30 dollar donation to protecting the state's natural resources.
"We're showing species of either plant or animal that are really what the program is about, providing that critical habitat connection through the monies donated through these plate sales," Holsten said.
State officials say new flat-printing technology will allow more sophisticated graphics on license plates. Holsten said the state is hoping the public will respond positively to a wider variety of designs.
"In the previous years, we've kind of held a contest and a had a select group kind of come in and do the selection for us," he said. "This year, we wanted to try and get it out there broader, try to gain public insight into what designs they're most interested in seeing and putting on their cars."
About 100,000 motorists currently have the plates. The DNR has a survey on its website to help select the new designs. The survey runs through March 23.