The Marlins' Highly Unpopular License Plate Could Be Eliminated Under Bill

There are 120 speciality license plates to choose from at your local DMV, but state lawmakers are looking to trim the selection. A bill introduced by state Sen. Jeff Brandes, a Republican from St. Petersburg, would up the threshold of plates sold to keep speciality plates on the street. One of the plates in danger or being eliminated: one celebrating Miami's dreadfully unpopular baseball team, the Marlins. 

Under current law, a specialty plate is taken out of circulation if there are fewer than 1,000 plates issued for 12 consecutive months. Brandes' bill would up that requirement to 4,000. Plates associated with colleges and universities would be exempt from the new requirements (which is good news for the 2,645 of you who own FIU plates). The tag for the Fraternal Order of Police would also be exempt (only FOP members and their families can purchase that plate, which keeps the numbers low). 

Here are the other plates that are currently below the 4,000 mark and thus could be de-authorized if Brandes' bill passes — AKA these are the least popular speciality plates in Florida (excluding colleges): 

Big Brothers Big Sisters - 554
Moffit Cancer Center - 674
American Legion - 791
American Red Cross - 973 
Florida Sheriff's Association - 1,003 
Fallen Law Enforcement - 1,360
Agriculture Education - 1,398
Kids Deserve Justice - 1,436
Parents Make a Difference - 1,652
Florida Panthers - 2,052
Family Values - 2,057
A State of Vision - 2,194
Donate Organs - 2,318
Miami Marlins - 2,476
Scouting Teaches Values - 2,509
Lauren's Kids - 3,128
Play Tennis - 3,144
NASCAR - 3,211
Special Olympics - 3,346
Orlando Magic - 3,372
Support Homeownership for All - 3,827
Protect Our Oceans - 3,829 
Trees Are Cool - 3,830
Visit Our Lights - 3,830
Florida Sheriff’s Youth Ranches - 3,944

Yep, a plate that says "Trees Are Cool," which supports the Florida Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture, is more popular than the plates for the Miami Marlins, Florida Panthers, and Orlando Magic. To put that into perspective, the Miami Heat's license plate is one of the most popular in the state, with 40,971 tags on the road in 2015. 

The analysis of the bill notes that the plates for the American Legion, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Fallen Law Enforcement, Florida Sheriff’s Association, Lauren’s Kids, and Moffitt Cancer Center are new additions and are still growing in popularity. 

Purchasers of speciality plates agree to pay an annual fee to use the tag. That extra money benefits the sponsoring organization. The analysis notes that the bill could harm the organizations whose plates aren't popular but could boost sales of other speciality plates. 

Brandes' bill also ups the requirements to obtain a plate. However, if the bill passes, plates wouldn't begin to be decommissioned until July, 2018, so organizations have plenty of time to try to boost their sales. 

The bill has so far been unanimously passed by the Senate's Transportation Committee. A House version has also been filed.