Times are tough all over, but in Illinois the state is considering selling ad space on license plates. That’s not to say that vegan residents from the Land of Lincoln will soon be forced to drive around with a “Sponsored by Whattaburger” tag.
Instead, the state is considering the creation of special license plates for corporate clients, who would help subsidize the cost of the plate for drivers. Like McDonalds? Why not drive around displaying your fondness for the Big Mac, especially if it gets you a discount on your car’s license plates?
The idea isn’t new, and Texas has been offering corporate plates since November of 2009. Unlike Illinois, which will produce the corporate license plates in state-run facilities, Texas farms the business out to a company called My Plates, which also produces a dizzying array of custom and special-interest plates for Texas motorists. Since the Texas program was launched, Re/Max Real Estate, Ford and an Austin burger chain named Mighty Fine Burgers have taken advantage of the program, which has generated $51,805 for the state’s general revenue fund.
The preliminary plan was approved by Illinois legislators last month. It’s now being studied by the secretary of state, who hopes to determine if there’s sufficient interest from Illinois drivers to proceed. The study is expected to be completed by January of 2012, so you could see burgers on license plates in Illinois by this time next year.