WYDOT Cancels Prestige License Plates Because of Aluminum Shortage

The Wyoming Department of Transportation has suspended all new orders of personalized, or prestige, license plates due to the shortage of aluminum.

Jimmy Orr

May 19, 20222 min read

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It’s a sad day for drivers who want to add some bling to their license plates. Because of a national aluminum shortage, the availability of new prestige plates in Wyoming has been paused.

A prestige plate is one that is personalized to show off one’s profession, a hobby, a name or whatever is preferred. In the popular TV shows “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul,” for example, attorney Saul Goodman had a license plate noting his profession: LWYRUP (Lawyer Up).

But it’s all on hold in Wyoming.  Because of the shortage, plates are just going to be produced in a sequential order. No specialization allowed.

It’s not because it takes more aluminum to create personalized plates. Rather, it’s because a personalized plate is a luxury whereas a regular license plate is a necessity. It’s a matter of prioritization said a Wyoming Department of Transportation official.

“The primary function of a license plate is really for vehicle identification,” WYDOT Support Services Administrator Taylor Rossetti told Cowboy State Daily.

“The idea of a prestige plate is really a ‘nice to have’ type of thing rather than a ‘need to have,’” Rossetti said.  “We need to make sure folks who need to have a license plate get the license plate they need.”

It’s not going to have a big effect on most drivers, Rossetti said.

That’s because the suspension would only apply to requests for new personalized plates. Orders to renew personalized plates won’t be affected because license plates are renewed every eight years — and Wyoming is in the middle of that cycle right now.

So, like everyone else, people who already have personalized plates would just receive a sticky tab with the year on it which is placed on the license plate to show it has been renewed.

Rossetti thinks the suspension will be short-lived and could be canceled as soon as July.

So far no one has reached out to complain, he said.

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Jimmy Orr

Executive Editor

A third-generation Wyomingite, Jimmy Orr is the executive editor and co-founder of Cowboy State Daily.