What’s Your 10-28?

This license plate, owned by a member of local law enforcement, represents police talk for 10-28, or vehicle information (license plate number)

This license plate, owned by a member of local law enforcement, represents police talk for 10-28, or vehicle information (license plate number)

Stacey Dach

Stacey Dach

This license plate, owned by a member of local law enforcement, represents police talk for 10-28, or vehicle information (license plate number)

Stacey Dach

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Some people develop quite a relationship with their vehicle.  Cars, trucks, motorcycles, and SUV’s are often named by their owners. Other folks like to give their ride a special tag, or, more commonly known as, a license plate. One thing that the State of Illinois actually does right, is give people lots of options in this regard. According to cyberdriveillinois.com, there are over 110 different designs of license plates available to Illinois drivers.

Standard style plates, which are typically issued with random letter/number combinations, are also available to be ordered either personalized or as a vanity plate. There are additional fees associated with these, but if one wants to make their vehicle even more personal, it may be well worth the cost.

The rules for personalized plates, which require an initial issue fee of varying amounts depending on which style of plate is ordered, plus an additional $8 annual renewal fee, are that letters (which come first on cars) and numbers are both used and that there is a space separating them. There must be between one and five letters and a number between one and 99, or there can be six letters and a single-digit number.

A vanity plate, which comes with an even larger initial issue fee and $13 annual renewal fee, may be ordered with up to three numbers only or from one to seven letters only.  One cannot intermix letters and numbers, use symbols or punctuation marks, select foreign words, or use any obscene or offensive combinations.

One neat feature on cyberdriveillinois.com website is Pick-A-Plate, where a person can check a perspective idea they have for a plate to see if it has already been issued to someone or if it is available for purchase. One simply types in the request and gets an instant answer. If it is not available, the system will even sometimes give an option close the desired combination. Another thing to keep in mind is that even if a particular letter/number combination has been issued on a standard Illinois plate, that same combination may be available on one of the many specialty plates available.

There are specialty plates obtainable supporting a wide variety of interests and causes- from Alzheimer’s Awareness to the Wildlife Prairie Park in Peoria with much in between. Each of these have a varying amount of initial issue and annual renewal fees, which go to support whatever the cause is. They also may be ordered personalized or in vanity style. Some of these specialty plates are also available for trucks and motorcycles.

Like Chicago professional sports teams? Check- all five of those have a plate.  Graduate from an Illinois state college? Yep, there’s 20 of those available.

There are plates for Eagle Scouts, Teamsters, agriculture, police and firefighter’s memorials, the military and reserves, organ donation, and a sporting series with hunting and fishing options. One can support education, youth golf, sharing the road with bicycles, hospice care, cancer research, and the environment- just to name a few. Check out cyberdriveillinois.com to see all the options.

Many locals have decided to give their vehicle that personal touch for various reasons. Steve Simpson, Geology/Geography instructor at Highland proudly displays IGNEUS 1 on the tag of his vehicle.  No, he does not arrogantly claim to be a genius, but he is in to igneous rocks. The plate refers to his degree in igneous petrology from the University of Montana.  “I had to drop a letter and add a number so I didn’t have to pay for a vanity plate,” Simpson said.

HCC student Racheal Wybourn chose HNTR 14 to tell her story on her license plate. “Growing up with my older brother, I always wanted to do what he did,” Wybourn said. Her brother hunted and she soon fell in love with it too. “It’s great bonding time with my brother and my dad,” she added. The 14 referenced on the plate is her favorite number and her golden birthday. So, when the time came for Wybourn to drive, she chose that for her license plate.

Freeport resident Ken Collin, who enjoys playing pickleball at the YMCA on the HCC campus, supports a cause near and dear to his heart on his tag. He has a Youth Programs specialty plate that is also personalized KEN 1. Collin is on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Association of Park Districts. Sale of these plates goes to support youth programs throughout the state. Collin estimated that these plates have been available as a fundraiser for park districts for the past 10-15 years and that they receive $20,00-$30,00 a year for the organization through the sale of them.

Kathy Blomberg, of the 160 Driving Academy on campus, also displays a specialty plate on her vehicle for a cause she believes in. She has an education plate with an apple, ABC, and 123 on it.  “I used to work for the Regional Office of Education with kids from birth to three,” Blomberg said.

If one is looking for something unique to ID their wheels and set it apart from everyone else’s, a personalized or specialty plate may be just the thing. The possibilities are nearly endless.










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What’s Your 10-28?