By Grace King, Mt. Pleasant News
Art Campbell was the first in Henry County to be issued a license plate with the new state of Iowa design on Monday, March 26, at the Henry County Department of Transportation.
While Henry County still has about six weeks of the former design in their inventory, because Campbell ordered a specialty issued ?Cattlemen Care? plate, he jumped the line and got his newly-minted plate before anyone else could snatch it up.
The new license plate design was voted on and chosen at the Iowa State Fair last August. The design started coming off the press at Iowa Prison Industries in Anamosa on March 19.
The new design looks drastically different from the former one, said Ana Lair, Henry County Treasurer. The new design does not mean everyone has to rush in to get a new license plate. The same rules apply: if someone buys a new vehicle or replaces a damaged or lost plate, they could receive the new one, but Lair said the old plates will still be in circulation for about 10 years.
If someone just renewed their license plate, which expires every 10 years and is replaced automatically, they will be rolling with the former design until it again expires, they replace their vehicle or move counties.
?It?s going to be years now that we?ll be seeing two kinds of plates,? Lair said.
Lair said the state renews the design every so often because they are always testing something safer, more reflective and something that lasts longer. Lair?s favorite part about the new plates is how the blue will be a contrast to the more muted blue on the former design.
?You can see how bright they are,? Lair said.
According to the Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT), the new plates are indeed higher-definition sheeting with better reflectivity. They will be easier to see and read at any time of the day. IDOT also said that the update comes at no additional cost.
While Lair didn?t personally vote for this design at the state fair last fall, she said that she can see why it was chosen. ?People like it because they felt it represented Iowa best,? she said.