One of the first things I noticed about Louisiana (after the dubious quality of the roads) was the unusually high number of specialty license plates.  Between the various designs of LSU, Sons of the Confederate Veterans, Military, Law Enforcement, and many other organizations plates - you've got around 170 different designs to choose from, and that number is growing.  According to the Advocate, another 10 have been approved by the Louisiana legislature this year.  If you are passionate about a cause, it can be one of the coolest ways to support the organization while simultaneously letting the driving world know where you stand at a glance.

Currently, around 120,000 of the 1.4 million vehicles in the state are sporting a specialty tag - generating close to $5.5 million dollars for their causes.  A few big players in this game take home the majority of this money.  For example, the New Orleans Saints bring in $1.34 million annually in royalties generated from the sale of the plates bearing their official design.  That money is used to pay down interest on loans taken out to refurbish the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.  Most organizations don't see that kind of windfall, but every little bit helps.

Why doesn't every business, organization, or group have it's own personalized plate?  Although the state handles the business of getting the money collected, plates pressed, and delivery - normally it takes at least 1000 requests for a specialty plate, but there is one exception.  High schools designs (like McKinley High School in Baton Rouge),  have started to become available, and those schools are using the money generated from the plates to provide funding for repairs and supplies their maxed budgets couldn't handle.  Due to a special exception, High Schools wanting to cash in on their own personalized plate only need 100 requests.

Find out more about personalized plates in Louisiana by clicking here.