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The Show-Me state's new license plate changed

Tabs have a register number issued with new Missouri license plates.

It's out with the old and in with the new. In April 2007 Missourians voted for a new license plate. On June 16 Missouri's license plates featuring the bluebird on the Hawthorne branch are hitting the roads. But some Missourians are seeing a design they did not vote for.

In the last year state officials tested the plates and found some complications.

"During the testing process we found that the Show-Me state on the right side of the plate was not going to work because it arched the plate inward," stated David Griffith, the public information officer for the Department of Revenue.

There is no hyphen and the bluebird is smaller. Griffith said it was being cut off in personalized plates, where letters can go all the way across.

Griffith believes that license plates are all business, "The whole purpose and reason for a license plate is to identify yourself to law enforcement."

Working with the Department of Revenue the Missouri State Highway Patrol wanted new security features for the license plates, one major change is the tab location.

"The tab that will be centered in the license plate, the color of that tab will indicate not only by the year, but the color. From a good distance will be able to determine than if the plate is expired or renewed," said Captain Tim Hull of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Centering the tab makes it harder for thieves to scrape or cut the plate.

Other features are numbers on the tab that are issued with the plate. The first letter on the plate will be issued with the month, making it easier for law enforcement officials to read a plate.

"It will allow the officer to look at a glance and be able to look at the license plate the first letter will tell the officer what month the plate was issued," said Hull.

For example June letters are K or L. July will be M and N, and in August P and R. In January 2009 it starts again with A and B.

Letters O and I will not be used in license plates because of potential confusion for numbers

The new plates will not burn a hole in your pocket. The plates themselves only cost $1.39 each before your registration fee.

Griffith also stated the shelf life for license plates is five years. Missouri's current plates were first issued in 1996.

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