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Henderson license plate could be discontinued due to weak sales

Seven months after the launch of a Henderson specialty license plate, only 108 have been sold.

The license plate became available in February, and proceeds benefit the nonprofit Henderson Historical Society.

The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles requires 3,000 Henderson license plates to be sold in the first full year, meaning it could be discontinued after Dec. 31, 2020, if that benchmark isn’t met.

“We really have to get some steam going,” said Denell Hahn, a board member for the Henderson Historical Society. “These are plates we certainly want to keep in circulation.”

Hitting the 3,000 mark, she said, “should be totally doable quickly.”

But as of July 31, there were only 108 active registrations, Nevada DMV spokesman Kevin Malone wrote in an email to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

By comparison, there were 89,440 active registrations for the Las Vegas commemorative license plate and 420 for Reno’s license plate, according to the DMV. Reno’s license plate was discontinued due to low sales.

Of 60 specialty plates with active registrations that benefit charitable organizations, 16 have been discontinued, according to a DMV report. Motorists can keep a license plate that has been discontinued as long as it’s registered to a vehicle and hasn’t been expired for more than 30 days, Malone said.

Henderson’s license plate features bicyclists on a scenic road, with the words “Henderson” and “a place to call home” at the bottom. It’s designed to showcase Henderson’s outdoor recreation opportunities, such as parks and trails.

It’s a show of city pride, Hahn said. As Nevada’s second-largest city, “Henderson really needed to have its own identity and its own license plate.”

It costs $62 to buy a specialty license plate with standard numbering, and there’s a $25 renewal fee each year, Malone said. A large chunk of that money —$30 from a Henderson license plate sale and $20 from a renewal fee — goes to the Henderson Historical Society.

In order to launch the Henderson license plate, a $20,000 surety bond was required.

One major challenge with selling the Henderson plate: Some people aren’t aware it exists, Hahn said. Also, there was “a little bit of a fumble” with the timing of releasing it, she said.

“The Knights and Raiders came out with plates right before us,” Hahn said.

The Historical Society — which worked with the city and Henderson Chamber of Commerce on the license plate project — applied to the DMV to get approval for its speciality license plate. It also presented the design to the Commission on Special License Plates, an interim legislative committee.

Rogich Communications Group, with help from R&R Partners, created the license plate design.

The Henderson Historical Society, established in 2011, receives most of its funding from corporate sponsors and society members, Hahn said. Its offerings include a lecture series and school events.

Contact Julie Wootton-Greener at jgreener@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2921. Follow @julieswootton on Twitter.

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