Florida to Create Specialty License Plates to Show Support for Israel

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (Facebook/Governor Ron DeSantis)

Drivers may choose to join the new statewide "Florida Stands with Israel" movement by ordering a specialty license plate for their vehicles. The new plates will represent Florida's partnership with the Jewish state.

"This kind of warmth is why Florida has always been a leading destination for Israeli-Americans," said Israeli-American Council (IAC) Board Member and IAC for Action Board Chairman Shawn Evenhaim. "This gesture celebrates a long and close relationship. Florida and Israel share many ties, including bilateral trade, common values and leadership in cutting-edge fields that have a quality of life impact for all citizens."

Through the legislature and recent signing of HB 1135 by Gov. Ron DeSantis, the plate was authorized. It builds on the governor's establishing legislation that bans anti-Semitism in Florida's public schools, and trade and travel agreements with Israel since being sworn into office in January 2019.

"We applaud and sincerely appreciate this meaningful expression of solidarity and are pleased that the Israeli-American community can play a part in support of these efforts," Evenhaim said.

Early discussions on the design of the license plate indicate that a 30-day contest will be held, with submissions coming from the general public. The contest is being sponsored by the IAC and coordinated by Artists for Israel, according to The Jerusalem Post.

As with other specialty license plates, between $15 and $25 of the cost will serve as an annual charitable donation. Funds from "Florida Stands with Israel" will help support the first-responder organization of Hatzalah of Miami-Dade.

The first mainstream specialty license plate in America was created in 1976 to commemorate the country's bicentennial. Florida launched its program in 1987 with a Challenger plate. Since then, the state's specialty license program has raised more than $750 million for worthy causes. In 2019 alone, more than 1.5 million Florida vehicles donned plates representing causes.

An order for 3,000 of the new plates will need to be placed to authorize production. The IAC is launching a community marketing campaign to reach the mandate.

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