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‘In God We Trust,’ four specialty license plates likely to become options

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SALT LAKE CITY — Utahns may soon have new license plate options at the DMV.

If signed into law by Gov. Gary Herbert, "In God We Trust" license plates would become a standard option at the Utah Division of Motor Vehicles, and motorists would also have four new specialty places to choose from.

The five license plates were approved by state lawmakers during the 2016 Legislature. They now await a signature from the governor.

"In God We Trust" licence plates would no longer cost motorists $5. The plates have been very popular since they were first sold three years ago, said Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, floor sponsor of HB127, the bill that makes the "In God We Trust" plate a standard option.

Utah is the 19th state to make an "In God We Trust" license plate a standard option.

The only opposition to HB127 during the legislative session came on the House floor. House Minority Leader Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, said while he believes in God and doesn't have a problem with the license plate, creating an "In God We Trust" license plate is a symbolic decision.

“I think it’s important that we remind ourselves that when we ask taxpayers to pay the cost in preference for one system of beliefs over another, we’re on thin ice,” he said.

In addition to the new standard plate, four new specialty plates could be available soon for $25.

License plates supporting research and awareness of childhood cancer and congenital heart disease were both initiated by parents of children affected by the diseases.

Mark Weissinger, whose son Owen has congenital heart disease, pushed for a specialty license plate last year, but the Legislature ran out of time before addressing it.

This year, Weissinger and bill sponsor Sen. David Hinkins, R-Orangeville, enlisted the help of Intermountain Healing Hearts, a support group for families of children with congenital heart disease.

Krystal Hansen worked on the awareness of childhood cancer plate with Rep. Becky Edwards, R-North Salt Lake. Hansen lost a son to cancer.

Edwards, who sponsored HB97, said the issue is personal to her because she lost a sibling to childhood cancer.

Rep. Lee Perry, R-Perry, proposed HB167, which would create a law enforcement license plate to support the upkeep of the Law Enforcement Memorial on the Capitol grounds.

Perry, a highway patrolman, said the funds would be used on upkeep of flags and plaques, as well as adding names to the monument.

Real Salt Lake fans also would have a license plate option under SB64, sponsored by Senate Assistant Minority Whip Luz Escamilla, D-Salt Lake City.

The money raised from the annual required donations would be used to provide scholarships to youths for referee training.

All four of the new potential license plates passed their final votes in the House and the Senate unanimously.

It is unclear when the license plates will become available. The DMV requires 500 applications for each plate before beginning production.

The Legislature also passed a bill that would allow veterans to have anything related to their years served or the division of their service on a personalized license plate.

Email: elarson@deseretnews.com