On August 10, 2021, Missouri turns the ripe age of 200 years old. To celebrate its statehood a little early, a new license plate theme has been rolled out.

Missouri replaces bluebird license plate to showcase historic birthday

The state Legislature passed a bill in 2016 requiring the Department of Revenue to issue a new design as part of Missouri’s celebration of statehood, or its bicentennial. The outline replaces the Missouri bluebird license plate from 2008.

It features red waves at the top and blue waves at the bottom to symbolize the Missouri flag and Missouri rivers. The waves are meant to reflect the state’s historic role as a gateway for American exploration and transportation. The design also showcases Missouri’s state seal, a star and the years 1821 and 2021.

During a press conference Tuesday at the state Capitol, Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe says the plate’s theme – History that moves you – is fitting.

“It’s an important time in our state to look at the history that we’ve been through, the history that this license plate reflects, especially with the strength of our rivers that run through our state and a huge asset that has been to us as Missouri,” Kehoe says.

Sen. Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia, agrees with Kehoe that Missourians should not lose sight of the state’s rich history.

“I heard it said the other day I think at the State Historical Society dinner that it’s important to give our state’s history a future. I think this is one of the things that does that,” Rowden says.

Jackie Bemboom with the Department of Revenue says the new design has been distributed to the state’s licensing offices.

“In 1911, there were only 16,387 plates issued. For this reissuance, we have to produce over 12 million plates. This equates to 2,602,785 pounds of aluminum,” she says.

Most Missouri drivers are required to get the new plates and will cost either $3.36 per set for the raised letters and numbers or $7.54 per set for the flat design. The fee covers the state’s $17 million cost of developing the plates through the design and production phases and the aluminum purchased.

Individuals with specialty license plates and permanent or historic registrations will be exempt. Personalized license plates are not considered specialty plates.

A Bicentennial Commission is also being formed to coordinate a big birthday bash for Missouri.

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