Personalised Number Plates Help Pay For School Fees

The most popular personalised car number plate in Washington just went crimson.

Personalised Number Plate ROS 13E -cherished-number

Dispensing with fancy graphics and multiple layers of color, Washington State University unveiled a simple red number plate with white lettering and the WSU Cougar logo on the right side.

The personalised number plate went on sale Monday.

“We wanted to be distinctive, to really stand out,” said WSU spokesman Darin Watkins.

The University of Washington is the bigger, older school, but WSU sells more than double the number of plates of its cross-state rival. Last year, Cougs bought 14,309 WSU specialty plates, generating about $350,000 in college scholarship money.

“They are by far the most popular specialty plate in the state,” said Department of Licensing spokesman Brad Benfield.

The UW isn’t even the second-most popular plate. No. 2 in popularity is the Law Enforcement Memorial, which raises money for the Olympia memorial to law-enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty. Last year, 9,866 of those plates were sold, Benfield said.

The UW comes in third, with 7,047 plates sold last year. Its design includes a purple W over a gold field, and a gray graphic of the UW’s seal.

It took nearly two years for WSU to win approval for the all-crimson license plate. The Licensing Department scrutinized the solid color carefully because license plates are the most reflective part of an automobile, and on a dark road they can be an essential piece of safety equipment, Benfield said.