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'Wine Country' new license plate theme

SALEM -- Gov. John Kitzhaber signed into law a bill creating a "Wine Country" specialty license plate earlier this month.



SALEM -- Gov. John Kitzhaber signed into law a bill creating a "Wine Country" specialty license plate earlier this month.

Proceeds from the plate will be directed to the Oregon Tourism Commission to support tourism promotion.

According to Travel Salem, the organization that initiated the legislation, the proceeds will be broken down as follows: half for matching grants for wine and culinary tourism, and half will go to regional tourism agencies throughout Oregon, based on a formula calculating the acreage of wine grapes in production in each region.

A final design for the license plate has not been determined yet. However, Travel Salem released a mockup earlier this year featuring rows of grapes on rolling hills. The final design must be approved by the bill's sponsors, the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles, the plate manufacturer and law enforcement, said David House, a DMV spokesman.

Plates will be issued after a design has been approved and the plates have been manufactured and prepared to distribute, a process that could take about six months, House said.

Once issued, the plates will be available for a $30 surcharge, in addition to a $23 plate fee and other fees. Title, registration and plate replacement fees may apply, depending on when the new plates are purchased.

Once issued, Wine Country and another created in the last legislative session, the "Keep Kids Safe" plate, will add to the roster of specialty plates available in Oregon. The others are "Salmon," "Crater Lake," "Cultural Trust" and "Pacific Wonderland."



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