Argie makes debut on new UWF Florida license plate

By Geri Battist

News Editor

plate

The new UWF license plates have been in the works since October 2014. It replaces the Nautilus shell plates which have been used since 1987.

Move over, nautilus shell – make way for “Argie” as he makes his debut on UWF’s new Florida license plate this month.

UWF begins 2016 with the Argo Pride plate starting to claim its territory among the Gators, Seminoles, sea turtles, dolphins and numerous other Florida specialty plates.

Vice President for University Advancement Brendan Kelly says the plate is one small element of the celebratory planning for the university’s 50th anniversary. “The symbols that represent the University are indicators of our past, present and future,” Kelly said. “The new license plate tries to capture all of those, especially with the emergence of this university after 50 years of growth.”

The person behind the new design is University Creative Services Marketing and Design Manager Brittany Boyd. “We wanted a design that would engage spirit, bring enthusiasm and demonstrate Argo Pride,” Boyd said.

Boyd said it has been a long process. She first received the task to design the new plate in October 2014. On Jan. 4 of this year, the new plate became available for purchase. A few new plates have been seen on vehicles in parking lots on campus. UWF President Judy Bense already is sporting the new “Argie” plate on her car.

Alumni Relations Director Missy Grace said she believes UWF alumni will like the new “Argie” plate. “There is an excitement attached with the Argo head logo,” Grace said. “The new plate also provides a stronger connection to football.”

The “CONNECTION,” an alumni and friends magazine published semi-annually by the Alumni Relations Department with the assistance of University Marketing and Communications, will feature the new plate on the back cover of the April 8 issue.

What does it take to get a new tag manufactured? It begins with research. Boyd first explored designs of other universities and evaluated best-known athletic designs. It did not take long to conclude the Argo head logo would best portray Argo Pride. “This is something that students, alumni, faculty and staff would want their school to be known by instead of the nautilus shell,” Boyd said.

Once Boyd received university approval for one of four designs, “Argie” was sent to the Department of Motor Vehicles for approval, which then sent it on to the Florida Highway Patrol to be reviewed for legibility and approval. Once “Argie” was deemed acceptable by the FHP, a plate was made and sent back to the university for final approval. In total, it took seven to nine months for the “Argie” plate to be manufactured into inventory.

According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website, you can replace your current license plate with a new UWF “Argie” specialty when you renew your registration at your local tax collector’s office. Just let them know you want to replace your current license plate with the specialty plate.

If you want to switch from a regular plate to the new UWF “Argie” plate before renewal time, you may do so by going to www.GoRenew.com, but it will cost extra.

According to FHSMV, specialty license plates cost a set fee annually above the regular Florida license plate based on the type of plate. The additional funds support the cause for which the specialty license plate was designed.

In the case of “Argie,” the funds ($25 annually) added to the registration fee contribute  to a UWF Foundation fund that provides support to academic enhancements. This fund was established when the first UWF license plate, the nautilus shell, was enacted Oct. 1, 1987.

If you would like a plate for décor or to give as a gift, you may purchase a sample license plate for $28. Simply go to http://www.flhsmv.gov/dmv/forms/BTR/83000.pdf, complete the Sample License Plate Request form and mail your check or money order payable to Division of Motor Vehicles to the address provided.

Soon motorists will begin to see a new face staring at them on the streets, in parking lots, and at traffic stops

 Argie proudly displays the new Argo Pride UWF License Plate. Photo courtesy of University Creative Services.

Argie proudly displays the new Argo Pride UWF License Plate.
Photo courtesy of University Creative Services.