Ohioans getting froggy over license plate design
Unless the Ohio Division of Wildlife can come up with 150 signatures, then the idea of the bullfrog
being featured on a motor vehicle license plate will croak for a lack of interest.
The latest effort actually was the work of a middle school partially as a civics lesson in how legislation is introduced and becomes law.
Jointly the idea was to assist in raising funds for the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s Wetlands Habitat account. It is centered around a design featuring the likeness of a bullfrog, Ohio’s official state frog.
This concept was a tadpole of the Dublin school’s Grizzell Middle School, which has been trying for several years to get the bullfrog named Ohio’s official amphibian – a role ultimately seized by the spotted salamander.
Instead, the students of the school’s social studies teacher Shawn Kaeser worked with State Rep. Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard) in marshaling the proposal through the Ohio General Assembly.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine was no toady, either, and happily put his signature to the enabling legislation.
The new bullfrog plate is one of 33 such specialty plates recently approved that benefit organizations in Ohio via the add-on volunteering motor vehicle owners designate in exchange for using the plates. In all, there are more than 140 such designated plates.
To remain in the program, at least 25 bullfrog plates must be sold annually.
“The 150 signatures is set by the Department of Motor Vehicles to ensure there is enough interest to jump start the process of producing the plate while the 25 figure is how many plates are needed to be sold annually to keep the plate going,” said Brian Banbury, the Division of Wildlife’s executive administrator for information and education.
Banbury said the plates will cost an additional $25 with $15 of that going into the Wildlife Division’s wetlands protection fund. The remaining $10 will be split between DMV administrative costs as well as helping maintain highway rest stops, Banbury said.
“This is the same fund that the money from the sales of the state duck stamp goes into,” Banbury said of the designated $25 portion. “That money is used to buy more wetlands, for the governor’s H2O program and other related matters. Clearly, wetlands are a high priority for the Division of
Wildlife, and we are excited about having the opportunity to add anything to that vital program. We applaud the young people for their efforts.”
The deadline for acknowledging as being one of the potential 150 bullfrog license plate buyers is June 22. To participate, send a completed document at https://publicsafety.ohio.gov/static/bmv4820.pdf to Paula Farrell at Paula.Farrell@dnr.ohio.gov.