CINCINNATI, Ohio — Ohio State University collected the most money last year of any entity in the state for specialty license plates, according to a newspaper’s review of state data.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that its review of Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles data shows Ohio State received a total of $585,800 for 22,055 plates last year. The newspaper reviewed data on how many plates were purchased and how much money they generated for charities and universities between January 2018 and January 2019.
Ohio offers more than 300 specialty license plates including those for breast cancer awareness and “donate life” to encourage organ donation.
Specialty license plates show drivers’ support for a cause, team or school while also donating to the organization.
Ohio State uses its license plate money to fund scholarships, according to the newspaper
OSU plates were outnumbered by license plates for people with disabilities, U.S. Army veterans and U.S. Marine Corps veterans, but no fees are charged for those plates.
Professional sports teams collected nearly $225,000 from license plates. The Cincinnati Bengals lead with 1,832 plates, followed by the Cleveland Browns with 1,649 plates.
The Bengals donated about $48,500 collected from plates last year to United Way and the Cincinnati USA Sports Commission.
“Specialty license plates give fans an opportunity to express their love for the Bengals and help raise money for charitable organizations,” Bengals spokeswoman Emily Parker said.
The Cincinnati Reds organization donates license plate money to baseball and softball outreach programs.
Creating a specialty plate first requires 150 signatures from people who intend to purchase the plate.
The idea is then presented to a state lawmaker who can sponsor a bill for the plate. The bill would describe where each donation from the plate would go.
It costs $6.08 to create a new pair of plates, which is offset by a $10 Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicle fee.