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Illinois License Plates May Soon Come With Corporate Ads

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Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (D) Thursday signed into law a measure (SB 1360) directing the Illinois Secretary of State's office to examine the pros and cons of allowing corporate logos on state-issued license plates in the near future.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the state will mainly be looking into what the cost of implementing such a program would be, as well as how much interest the public has in the idea of allowing their automobile to become a billboard-on-wheels in exchange for a potentially discounted vehicle registration fee.

The proposed model, explains the Post-Dispatch, is that corporations would pay a fee to the state to have their logo presented as an option to drivers. The fee the corporations pay would be "more than enough" to make up for the reduced cost of a vehicle registration fee. The plan, which was first discussed by the General Assembly earlier this year, is seen by its proponents as presenting a unique revenue source for the state and its opponents as challenging police already faced with decoding the state's many styles of speciality license plates in order to figure out which state a car is from.

The bill's sponsor, John Mulroe (D-Chicago) previously said of the bill that "everyone wins" because even if the program fails, he contended, "it doesn't cost the state anything,'' according to the Post-Dispatch's previous report on the matter.

The only other state currently allowing corporate ads on their license plates is Texas, according to Algonquin Patch. Their program has raised just over $50,000 for the state's general revenue fund.

Around the Web

Illinois license plates could get ads - chicagotribune.com

Ads Coming to Illinois License Plates? | NBC Chicago

Illinois to study putting ads on license plates - BusinessWeek

Illinois looking into license plate ads - Peoria, IL - pjstar.com