PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Islanders drivers will now have to wait until next year to get their hands on the brand new “wave” license plate design.
The Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) said it will start issuing the new license plate design to drivers in January, which is four months later than initially planned.
The DMV has already delayed issuing the license plates once due to a delay in the production of the specialty envelopes used to ship them out. That issue has since been resolved.
The problem now, according to DMV spokesperson Paul Grimaldi, is that the license plate vendor requested six months from when the new design was first approved.
“That approval is different from the date we released the design to the public,” Grimaldi explained. “Several different samples of the winning design had to be produced to ensure the finished plate passed inspection by the R.I. State Police for visibility and readability.”
The new design was officially approved on May 10, “bringing the six-month timeframe for initial deliver to mid-November,” according to Grimaldi.
Grimaldi said drivers should begin receiving renewal notices by mail in December.
The new plates will be mailed to people who are renewing their registration. Those registering their vehicle for the first time will receive them at that time if they accept something from the DMV’s stock.
The DMV expects to distribute 785,000 plates featuring the new design.
The new design, which features five waves and an anchor, pays homage to the state’s standard plates for the last 25 years, which only includes one wave.
Rhode Islanders were initially told there would be an $8 surcharge to switch over to the new license plate, but state lawmakers decided the state should cover the cost and allocated funding for it in the state’s FY 2023 budget.