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Oregon to Get New License Plate Featuring Grey Whales

Oregon State University, home to a whale research program, has gathered enough would-be purchasers to launch a new license plate design featuring a grey whale and calf on an ocean-themed background.

Posted: Apr 19, 2018 5:07 PM
Updated: Apr 19, 2018 5:27 PM

TOM JAMES , Associated Press

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — From Oregon's wine country to Crater Lake to the Portland Trailblazers, it can seem like there's a special license plate for everything — but Oregonians will soon have one more to choose from.

Oregon State University, home to a whale research program, has gathered enough would-be purchasers to launch a new license plate design featuring a grey whale and calf on an ocean-themed background.

A lighthouse will also be featured on the corner of the plates, along with the words "coastal playground" printed across the bottom, for drivers who are willing to pay an extra $40.

The university's Marine Mammal Institute said in a Thursday release that that they had pre-sold 3,000 of the plates, the threshold for having a new custom-background license plate made available. The design should become available in early 2019, according to the release.

The whale plates are set to be launched under an Oregon program, running since 2015, which allows any nonprofit group or college or university to launch a custom background just by gathering enough vouchers — essentially early applications to buy the new plate — and paying about $68,000 in fees.

The state currently prints 21 other custom designs, along with special plates for some veterans, ham radio operators, classic car owners and other groups.

But custom designs aren't permanent: With the exception of designs enshrined in legislation, like the state's Crater Lake plate, each has to entice at least 2,000 new buyers every year to avoid automatic cancellation.

"That has happened to a lot of them," said David House, a spokesman for the Department of Motor Vehicles, adding that at one point the state had more than 30 available. "Ninety percent of people just want regular plates."

A previous effort by the university to launch a whale plate — and make it permanent via legislation — failed in 2013.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 394569

Reported Deaths: 5243
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah60720847
Washington42359405
Marion40153516
Clackamas33040387
Lane30428361
Jackson25105363
Deschutes23795189
Umatilla15144184
Linn14859183
Douglas13523293
Josephine10278247
Yamhill9840143
Klamath9112149
Polk8325102
Benton615338
Malheur593292
Coos5768109
Columbia438056
Jefferson424366
Lincoln365852
Crook343057
Union340756
Wasco318646
Clatsop263635
Baker221833
Tillamook218046
Hood River216537
Morrow197825
Curry193939
Harney121333
Grant109116
Lake105617
Wallowa76313
Sherman1933
Gilliam1854
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 5105427

Reported Deaths: 74781
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles153243027225
San Diego4091824350
Riverside3892365381
San Bernardino3762805983
Orange3352965756
Sacramento1690952452
Kern1582701828
Fresno1574692270
Santa Clara1528571928
Alameda1256281512
San Joaquin1080791835
Ventura1043091192
Contra Costa1042181056
Stanislaus919641429
Tulare867391100
San Francisco57141674
San Mateo56585631
Monterey52842626
Solano47828360
Santa Barbara47523555
Merced45309671
Sonoma43349414
Placer42458473
Imperial38932776
Kings35370367
San Luis Obispo31667360
Madera26388311
Shasta26221461
Butte25608318
Santa Cruz22402224
Yolo21722261
Marin18587249
El Dorado18448168
Sutter14646186
Napa13446106
Yuba1079891
Tehama10316131
Humboldt10294119
Nevada10112105
Mendocino864999
Lassen797656
San Benito787979
Tuolumne778491
Lake7057113
Amador580067
Siskiyou479657
Glenn458536
Calaveras445788
Del Norte377942
Colusa328321
Inyo257346
Plumas19577
Mono19034
Mariposa162218
Trinity100717
Modoc7936
Sierra2190
Unassigned1560
Alpine1080
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