Updated Mar 5, 2024 - Culture

Florida's new specialty license plates to honor Jimmy Buffett, tout The Villages

A license plate that says "Florida" at the top and "Margaritaville" at the bottom with the number FENSUP. The plate is decorated with a scene of an Adirondack chair on the beach next to a palm tree looking out at a small white airplane landing in the cerulean water.

A sample Margaritaville license plate. The official design is not yet available. Photo: Courtesy of Florida Rep. Linda Chaney's office

Florida lawmakers this week approved a new lineup of specialty license plates, including an homage to the late Jimmy Buffett.

State of play: House Bill 403, sponsored by St. Pete Beach Republican Rep. Linda Chaney, passed the House on Feb. 22, and the Senate unanimously on Monday.

  • It will now head to Gov. Ron DeSantis' desk for approval.

The big picture: The new designs will add to more than 100 specialty plates already for sale. The fees from the plates go toward corresponding charitable organizations.

  • About 2.2 million vehicles have such plates, per the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
  • The most popular designs are Endless Summer (134,545), Helping Sea Turtles Survive (108,388) and University of Florida (92,251).

Here's a sampling of the new plates, which cost $25 annually, per the bill analysis:

🦜 Margaritaville. The fees from this plate will head to the Buffett-founded organization Singing for Change to provide grants to nonprofits in communities impacted by disasters.

🏘️ The Villages: May All Your Dreams Come True. A slightly dystopian nod to Central Florida's massive retirement community, the money will go toward The Villages Charter School.

🐟 Clearwater Marine Aquarium. These fees will go toward β€” you guessed it β€” the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

πŸ›₯️ Boating Capital of the World. This one's for the "Below Deck Mediterranean" fans: Fees will go toward a charity founded by celebrity Captain Sandy Yawn to bolster the maritime workforce.

♻️ Recycle Florida. Take your environmental do-goodery to the next level with this plate, the fees from which will benefit the Recycle Florida Today Foundation.

πŸ–€ Overdose Awareness. Money from this plate will go to Project Addiction: Reversing the Stigma to raise awareness for substance use disorder and mental illness.

🫑 United Service Organizations. Support the troops with this plate, which will raise money for USO's 10 Florida locations.

πŸ”· Cure Diabetes. Fees from this plate will benefit the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, which supports the Diabetes Research Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; the University of Florida Foundation, which supports the UF Diabetes Institute; and JDRF, which funds type 1 diabetes research.

✈️ General Aviation. Money from this plate will head to the Aerospace Center for Excellence to fund scholarships for Florida students pursuing aviation careers.

What we're watching: The new plates haven't been designed yet, FLHSMV spokesperson Molly Best told Axios. The beneficiary organizations are tasked with designing them.

  • Should DeSantis approve the bill, pre-sale for the plates will start July 1.

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