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The Oklahoma Tax Commission unveiled the design of the new Oklahoma license plates earlier this month, and I think it's great. As you can see from the picture, the plate features Oklahoma artist Allan Houser's "Sacred Rain Arrow" sculpture, housed at Tulsa’s Gilcrease Museum. It will be available in January for no extra charge whenever tag registration is required, but drivers who want to retain their current plate number have to pay $17 in addition to normal registration charges before November 1st.

Apparently there's been some criticism of the design, some even deriding the use of color. I guess I'll respectfully disagree. In my opinion, the plate is dignified and interesting, much more so than the good ole' green and white one we've come to know and tolerate. What do you think?

August 19, 2008 at 1:35 pm
(1) uncltodd says:

Your display pic shows what I consider a ‘way cool upgrade from “good old green and white,” but I noticed that only six characters were displayed. What happens to my wife’s, my daughter’s, and my seven-character personalized plates???

August 19, 2008 at 1:47 pm
(2) okc says:

Good question, uncltodd. According to the tax commission… “Note: Special license plates that have designs unique to that plate type and personalized plates will not be affected by this redesign.”

August 19, 2008 at 2:52 pm
(3) Meh says:

I have always admired the cool and creative designs that “other” states have, now I can be a little more proud of ours! Thanks to those who designed it for stepping out of the “box”!

August 19, 2008 at 4:04 pm
(4) RM says:

I agree, this plate is one I would be happy to display on my vehicle. As a 7/8 degree American Indian I will be very proud to view this plate on our states vehicles. Also, it is about time we made a change.

August 19, 2008 at 8:20 pm
(5) Sam says:

The OU colored lettering will not go well with my Oklahoma State decals….they should choose a more neutral color

August 19, 2008 at 9:17 pm
(6) jk brennan says:

i come from Maine where my son in 4th grade helped get the lobster plate approved. i have traveled to SD, California and even to Cabo – so the old OK plate with the indian catcher is very cute but i have seen Ok plates and they are just ok. i like it but maybe it should have just been a statue of an indian on a horse statue which is at the Rose Garden area.

August 21, 2008 at 2:30 am
(7) Sarah says:

Love it!

August 21, 2008 at 2:46 pm
(8) nik says:

First new drivers license,then a nba team, now a new license plate. We’re movin’ on up like the Jefferson’s. I’m so proud!

August 21, 2008 at 5:01 pm
(9) Patty Cosgrave says:

Unfortunately I am not native american so I find the new tag rasist.

August 21, 2008 at 5:34 pm
(10) Kelly says:

The tag looks great and is a great representation of the Okahoma Hertiage

Those who find the tag RASIST – maybe should just get out of Oklahoma – because this tag stands for Okalhoma Hertiage

August 21, 2008 at 5:35 pm
(11) Zac says:

Comment to rasist remark

The “word” Oklahoma states for “Red Man” in the native indian language

August 22, 2008 at 12:22 am
(12) CKG says:

I believe the Native American heritage is such an integral part of our state history that is is very appropriate for us to display it in some form on our license plates. As an Okahoman who is not of Native American ancestry, I would like to state very clearly that I am not offended nor do I find it “racist” to have a Native American emblem on our state license plate. That said, I do think a better emblem could have been chosen. My first impression is that this one looks like cupid with his bow & arrow. I wonder how many out-of-staters will see this license plate at a distance and not realize the significance. I’ve seen some very nice Native American paintings and sculptures that I think would have been far better choices.

August 22, 2008 at 9:16 am
(13) Rosana says:

I just want to say something to those that think the new plate is racist. Apparently you are proud of your ancestry, so why shouldn’t Oklahoma be as well. And racism is hate against those of others races and having a plate with an indian on it shows no hate whatsoever! I personally am proud to live in a state that doesn’t give up it’s heritage… I’m very glad for the change I think it is just another thing to be proud of!

August 22, 2008 at 6:22 pm
(14) Marc says:

I agree that the number and letter colors should have been something different (dark green?), but I really like it overall. Racist? Please. I’m not Native American and it doesn’t bother me a bit. As a matter of fact I am proud of the association with the Indian heritage.

August 22, 2008 at 10:39 pm
(15) Roscoe says:

Correction: “Oklahoma” means “home of the red man”. I don’t like tags at all. Ride a bicycle or take the bus .

August 23, 2008 at 11:27 am
(16) Shell says:

I love it! If you don’t like it keep your old tag!!

August 24, 2008 at 4:57 am
(17) BikerBabe6169 says:

Im from Wisconsin orginally and have been here many years. I love the new design. Americas Dairyland plates arent very intersting. Im glad Oklahoma is moving ahead. Next improvement public trans?

August 24, 2008 at 9:25 pm
(18) Brenda says:

I love the new look. I am sad that others want to find fault with any little thing that is done different. Let’s be excited about all the good things happening in Oklahoma at this time!

August 26, 2008 at 6:35 am
(19) Patty says:

It was time for a change! I see the tag as a true representation of the State. Maybe others will look up what “Oklahoma” means? You can’t please all the people all the time.
I, personally, love it!

August 26, 2008 at 5:18 pm
(20) jewels says:

Are you kidding lets get over the race thing that card is well wore OUT. you should move out of OLKAHOMA this is what we stand for this is where our land comes from the indians it was theirs before it was ours. You must not be from here or you would know that. GET OVER THE RACE CARD

September 16, 2008 at 10:04 pm
(21) Nelson says:

The main colors for the plate are red, white and blue. How can anyone find fault in that?

September 24, 2008 at 5:07 pm
(22) Derek says:

It’s not a dream-catcher on the old plate. It’s a shield.

My “Oklahoma Native America” plate is the bomb. This new plate is trendy.

I love having the Indian shield and peace pipe on my car.

September 29, 2008 at 8:07 am
(23) barb telford says:

Why didn’t we put this design on our state quarter rather than that darned scisortail?

September 30, 2008 at 9:44 am
(24) DJ says:

I love the new license plate. Let me break it down for you: Oklahoma-Choctaw word-”okla” meaning “people”, “humma” meaning “red”. Oklahoma means “red people”. I do not find this new design racist at all and I’m NDN. The question if it’s racist would be directed to the race that is being represented. Has America become too soft that we wear our hearts on our sleeves and cry out ‘racism’ or ‘discrimination’ so easily? We’re going to “PC” ourselves to death, we won’t have to worry about terrorists doing it!

October 8, 2008 at 11:35 pm
(25) Lee says:

up yours patty , let us indians get some love . You did get our land isnt that enough?

November 14, 2008 at 4:48 pm
(26) Military says:

I heard that this project cost 6 million. What a waste. I was also told that the project was out-sourced and the money was spent out of state. Didn’t our old tag work just fine?

November 28, 2008 at 9:02 pm
(27) Born An Okie says:

They missed it completely. For a true representation of Oklahoma’s Indian heritage, the plate should depict casinos and slot machines.

December 12, 2008 at 7:10 pm
(28) Amy says:

Hey Patty: The correct spelling is “racist”. If you are going to throw the word about, at least have the common courtesy to spell it right…

December 23, 2008 at 10:05 am
(29) mom2three says:

I think the new plate is much better then the old. But, it does look like cupid and his arrow!
We are new to this state and are not Native American and “no” we don’t find this new plate to be offensive or racist. We find it to be a step up in the right direction (Lottery, Tattoo, NBA Team……keep going Oklahoma!!!)

December 23, 2008 at 10:09 am
(30) mom2three says:

PS – Now if we can only get rid of the low point beer that is sold in stores!!

December 26, 2008 at 3:43 pm
(31) Okie says:

I live in Oklahoma and love Oklahoma, However I dislike this plate. Lets look forward to the future and quit living in the past. Too bad they couldn’t come up with a plate that points to the future and our success instead of the failures of our past.

January 6, 2009 at 4:44 pm
(32) heydude says:

Why does’nt the bow have a string ? Everyone knows a bow has to have a string !

January 7, 2009 at 3:20 pm
(33) Lisa says:

Love this new plate! The red, white and blue colors also reflect patriotism. As a transplant to OK,thru marriage, I am thrilled with our new option.

January 9, 2009 at 11:41 pm
(34) Phoebe says:

Where did our colors go? Are our license plates supposed to be the same as nearly every other State license plate in the country? I loved our old, original, plate. I am very strongly against this new one.

January 9, 2009 at 11:47 pm
(35) Lola says:

I don’t really like the plate, and would much rather stick to our old one. Just because the new one has an indian on it and is red white and blue doesn’t mean it is any more patriotic and showing of our Native American Heritage.

January 11, 2009 at 7:57 am
(36) Jeff says:

Some of these comments are ridiculous. What is wrong w/you people? No wonder half the worlds hates Americans, we bitch, moan & groan about everything. Nothing is ever right… We need to change our attitudes and not be so negative (especially about a licence plate)…..

January 15, 2009 at 7:53 pm
(37) L Jeezy says:

Not bad; I really don’t care what the tag looks like, though, I just care what its on!

January 16, 2009 at 1:33 pm
(38) steve says:

why are they changing this for? nothing against indians but why?, (because i am part indian) Oklahoma was unique because we was the only state that did not have a dome then we get a dome with an indian on it the original design for the state quarter was between a bird, the pionner woman (holding the bible, and an indian, so I will have to pay extra to keep my old tag, and are they going to make the indians with there tribal tags change to this new one?

January 18, 2009 at 11:30 pm
(39) Mary says:

Do you know the “indian shooting the star” that kids look for on the tootsie pops? Well, that is what these new license plates remind me of.

January 20, 2009 at 9:53 pm
(40) Stillwater says:

It’s hideous and tacky.

January 21, 2009 at 11:47 am
(41) Unvolpe says:

The shield on the old plate attempted to represent as many of the tribes as possible. The plate read, “Native America”–how is this NOT a nod to Oklahoma’s heritage. The new plate isn’t red, white and blue–it is MAROON, white and dark blue–showing an obvious bias towards Sooner fans. Why charge extra to let people keep their old plates? Why not do as other states and simply hand out the new plates to new registrations, phasing out the old plates over time. Change only for the sake of change is pointless and in this case, darn expensive too. I’m on the fence about changing plates–I don’t care for the new one but, the city and state already get so much of my money I don’t know that I want to fork over an additional $17.00 to keep the old plate.

January 21, 2009 at 11:05 pm
(42) Wow..... says:

OU’s school colors are Crimson and Cream, not MAROON and Cream. Does having blue numbers on a California plate mean that there is a bias leaning for Cal fans? Seriously, its a color. I dark color on a light background…its called visibility. Now I will agree that this was an expensive change. Not exactly necessary, but eh whatever. In the end its just a license plate. If you want to keep your old one, spend the money and keep it. Or better yet, send in a special plate application and get your OU, OSU, TULSA or whatever school you want plate. Now the question I have is are the cars that I see driving around with this plate on already using temporary paper prints? They look like paper and the numbers arn’t even raised. Maybe I just saw them from a strange angle or something.

January 22, 2009 at 4:43 pm
(43) moe says:

I think we definitely needed a change, but I will have to say this reminds me nothing of Oklahoma. When I look at the license plate I think we should see something more Native American which would represent Oklahoma more appropriately. This is a little confusing for people.

January 24, 2009 at 4:29 pm
(44) Kim says:

The design is not indicative of Oklahoma. The official Oklahoma seal is indicative of Oklahoma. There was no reason to change it.

What a waste of our tax dollars. We’ve got roads and bridges falling apart…and this is how we need to spend our money?

January 29, 2009 at 12:39 pm
(45) An Okie says:

Comments from Kelly and Lee are racist and are very hurtful. When people come to build a company in this state and they hear such racist things said, they leave. They do not want to live where one half of the citizens hate the other half of the citizens. It makes for problems in the jobs, neighborhoods and in legislature. We need to work together to make Oklahoma great, not tear each other down.

February 5, 2009 at 10:44 am
(46) K Walker says:

The image depicts a pagan religous ceremony. It violates the equal protection clause, can you imagine if instead they put a picture of Jesus on the tag walking on water, the ACLU would be all over this. These tags cost 6 Million dollars to make. The people responsible for this need to be run out of office.

February 5, 2009 at 2:11 pm
(47) gary todd jones says:

What I don’t under stand is that they are forcing them.I think it could have been handled better like ask would you like to have a new plate instead of you have to.

February 5, 2009 at 2:52 pm
(48) em says:

I do NOT like the new tag !!!

We should have a choice as to accept the new Oklahoma tag or to opt out keeping out old tag …


I called state Rep. Ken Miller on House Bill 3326,”who passed this bill” about why we are being forced to have the new Oklahoma tag . Well it has been over a month with no call back from his office . Sounds to me the he and his office don’t seem to care what the people think .


Call State Rep. Ken Miller office ”House bill 3326” and ask about the forcement of the new Oklahoma State tag.

It should be a choice to receive the new Oklahoma State tag.

February 5, 2009 at 5:09 pm
(49) Gail says:

How horrible. It DOES look like cupid. Not to mention the violence of shooting a bow and arrow. And how much money was spent on this boondoggle? But, I guess it goes along with the new “change, change the change, change for the sake of change,” mentality that is going on right now. What is wrong with leaving things alone, or giving us a choice without it costing us to get a different tag or keep our old number? The old tags weren’t causing any problems. The new one’s are costing us. Geez!

February 12, 2009 at 12:05 pm
(50) MoveForward says:

I think it is about time we have a more modern design on our plates. If you don’t like it, get a personalized one. As for change…. we all know that some of the backwards people here in OK (probably the ones that keep voting for Inhofe) would prefer to still ride around on horses, which wouldn’t require plates… and that might be the first “green” idea Inhofe and his cohorts would back…

February 12, 2009 at 11:36 pm
(51) wp says:

My comment is not about theme, color, ect. This plate is flimsy, its a painted piece of thin aluminum. The letters aren’t embossed as all years previous. I hope we are not expected to keep this tag for 15 years. The first time I misjudge my distance hooking up a trailer, this thing is gonna rip like paper.

February 14, 2009 at 12:39 am
(52) Me says:

It’s a waste of money. BTW for those who say if you don’t like the new tag then keep your old tag. Well, you aren’t given that choice. When I renewed my tag the place was out of new tags. They mailed me a new tag. 1st they waster money on making them then they waste money mailing them too.

February 23, 2009 at 10:22 pm
(53) Doug says:

I think it is hideous. It’s busy, gawdy, has no symmetry (completely off-centered looking)draws too much attention to the back of the car…it takes away from the looks of a car by clashing with certain colors of cars. I will fight tooth and nail to keep my old tags! Why can they never leave anything alone?

March 5, 2009 at 3:06 am
(54) Kudzu says:

“Also at this meeting, the representative from the Department of Public Safety stated that their only remaining concern would be that the fonts used for display of the assigned license plate numbers and letters be established in a method by which law enforcement personnel could clearly distinguish the difference between such letters and numbers”


Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR; see also other names below) is a mass surveillance method that uses optical character recognition on images to read the licence plates on vehicles. As of 2006, systems can scan number plates at around one per second on cars travelling up to 100 mph (160 km/h).[citation needed] They can use existing closed-circuit television or road-rule enforcement cameras, or ones specifically designed for the task.


Pilot Program 2003 Investigation

the MLPR system has potential benefits for law enforcement, the insurance industry and auto insurance policyholders; these benefits must be balanced against the privacy rights of the public

woollyboogers loose in the OK State House?
InsurNet or Dragnet

Gotta love the litlle bar code (bottom right) on the new tags!

March 12, 2009 at 6:34 pm
(55) Andrew says:

I do not like these new tags. I liked the way the old tags stood out from other states, and now it looks just the same! Instead of having an Indian sculpture, why don’t we put a real Indian on it? Also, on the old tags, the word ‘Oklahoma’ was a lot clearer to read. At first I thought it said ‘Kansas’ until I realized it was a new Oklahoma tag! Plus, wouldn’t it be easier to read the number if there was a break between the characters? The same way it is easier to read a phone number when it’s put 123-456-7890 instead of 1234567890.

March 14, 2009 at 9:54 pm
(56) Mike says:

Works for me.

March 20, 2009 at 2:30 pm
(57) kelly says:

I really like the style but instead of “Native America” I wish it said “Boomer Sooner”. That would be so much better!

March 24, 2009 at 2:33 pm
(58) Rachel says:

i think that the new licence plate stinks… i like our old one.. this new one looks like its from new york or something. also just because we are from oklahoma doesnt mean we are all indians… we should have had more color on it and a background i think it should have been a wheat field with a buffalo on it or something…

March 24, 2009 at 9:14 pm
(59) Alisha says:

LOL to Born an Okie, even though I have Native American blood in me that’s just funny. LOL to this whole thing, no one ever likes everything. Upon further inspection, it does resemble a cupid; however, on my vehicle it looks pretty cool. So they didn’t make these in Boley, Oklahoma? what? And boo to whomever brought race into this. Indeed, this is Red Man’s land. Like it or like it.

March 26, 2009 at 12:29 pm
(60) Rich says:

Can’t wait to add it to my collection of USA plates

March 27, 2009 at 10:28 am
(61) lorece says:

Being a temporary resident in OK from TX, I love your new plates. They are very readable with great colors. As far as the beautiful Native American symbols, I’ll leave that discussion to y’all.

April 13, 2009 at 12:46 am
(62) EdmondOkie says:

Native Americans were forced off their land to move to Oklahoma and many died en route. Oklahoma territory was very close to being a prison camp for indians. Is this the heritage we are celebrating?

April 19, 2009 at 8:53 am
(63) An Oklahoman says:

Why is there a samurai warrior on my new tag? Furthermore, if it is supposed to be an indian, Why is there an Indian on my tag? I’m not an Indian!!!!! I was born and raised in Oklahoma and I only know two. Not a enough reason to constantly jam natives down my throat. Is Oklahoma ever going to shed this unimportant image? Maybe Gov.Henry should ride a horse everywhere with stupid looking bird feathers on his head.Is there any Oklahomans out with the testicular fortitude to say what is on there mind, NO,there isn’t because they are to busy trying to prove that they are 1/1,000,000 Indian so they can get free stuff.Despite the ignorance and lack of real Oklahoma pride,I’ll always love this state.

May 25, 2009 at 5:34 pm
(64) Troy Z says:

I would like to know why we would spend around $170 million to replace perfectly good tags when people are losing there jobs every day to imported crap and we know the taxpayer pays for these tags even if we lie and say they dont cost extra. It would be different if we used them for replacement only as needed.

June 16, 2009 at 6:40 pm
(65) M M says:

This Arkie enjoys viewing the new plates. Nicely designed and they give creedence to American Indians. Although I’ll miss the green color, the new tags are a welcomed makeover. If I become an Okie in two years (after college), I’ll be quite proud to have one on the truck, but I pray the State allows ham ops like myself to get an amateur radio version of the new tag and doesn’t require me to carry an extra tag in order for my ham radio tag to be displayed as has been the status quo. Just my two one-cent pieces worth

June 27, 2009 at 12:40 am
(66) Simonsez says:

I don’t like the new tag – its lettering is hard to see at night and is cramped to one side with part of it to be blocked by the hitching ball on most trucks. My old tag was still good but I cannot continue to use it (the $17.00 fee is to reissue your old tag numbers on the new tag design, not keep the old tag). Frankly, what is the real benefit of the new tag that it is worth the millions we paid out-of-state vendors when a lot of programs in the state could have used that money? Is the artist’s estate receiving royalties for every plate stamped? “Rain Arrow”? – that’s the first I ever heard of it – I thought he was aiming it back East because the folks in DC don’t listen to us. I know for sure the representives here don’t.

July 7, 2009 at 3:57 pm
(67) SCS says:

I agree with Simonsez, this new plate is an idiotic waste of money just so Oklahoma can be like everyone else (I am tired of OK officials thinking this way…SAN ANTONIO! DALLAS! WE CAN BE LIKE THEM, TOO!).

Also, the old design is easier to read with the embossed and reflective digits. Plus, as stated before but I must reiterate, ball hitches obscure digits on the new plates!

Way to go D.P.S.

July 7, 2009 at 4:02 pm
(68) SCS says:

One more thing, we should have been given the choice between the Indian design and a Will Rogers design.

July 11, 2009 at 11:59 pm
(69) german guzman says:

i hate de new tags !!!!!i dont know why “they ”
dont ask the people for it opinion!!

August 2, 2009 at 3:41 pm
(70) Mack Nauman says:

Why is the picture on the tag of an Apache indian. We never had any in OK except geronimo and he was imprisoned. Having to pay $17 to keep the old with all the problems it causes is criminal.

August 3, 2009 at 6:20 pm
(71) Anitta Munson says:

I think it is ugly! It looks like a viking instead of an Indian. It’s great having an indian but it needs to look like one.

August 5, 2009 at 9:05 am
(72) jb says:

I don’t get it. Indians have been honored in the past and now all they do is protest to have anything having to do with Indians taken off of sports teams etc. Why is this suddenly acceptable?

September 1, 2009 at 10:29 am
(73) ry says:

I really dislike the new tag. I agree with the person who said it is difficult to tell what it depicts. Why can’t we use our beautiful state bird or something else for a change, instead of the current theme? Many people with Native American blood use tribal plates, anyway. By the way, our tag agent told us we couldn’t keep our green & white plates, that we MUST display the new one.

September 10, 2009 at 6:11 pm
(74) TRC says:

I agree with ry (see comment #73). I really don’t care for the new license plate design. I don’t have any issues with the cultural heritage of the state or with portraying images representing that heritage on the state license plate, but the design is poorly conceived and is badly executed. Given the many talented artists in the state why couldn’t OTC have had a design competition and gone for something new and really stunning? I also lament the loss of identifiable county letters on the license tags but that’s an altogether different matter. And by the way, dear message posters, no matter how well thought out you believe your arguments to be, if your words are misspelled and your writing is grammatically incorrect, no one cares what you have to say!

October 30, 2009 at 4:03 pm
(75) jan says:

PLEASE give me back the good old green and white!!

November 7, 2009 at 2:17 pm
(76) chris says:

I don’t think anyone has commented on the double helix hologram running down the middle of the plate? I read it was put there to combat forgery, but why a double helix? Does anyone know what the significance is?

November 16, 2009 at 9:37 am
(77) Kazzar says:

Personally, I dont like the tag, not because of the design, but because of the way it’s made. I personally prefer the embossed letters over the flush “sticker-like” design of these new tags. However, I would like to point out that the placement of the lettering is a little dumb, because most people in Oklahoma own trucks, and the trailer hitch ball covers halve of the letters now….so now, when that a**hole in his duely cuts me off, I cant get his plate number anymore.

Also, I should point out the law enforcment side of this. Several of my family members are police officers and they love the new plates, as they are easier to read from farther away then the embossed green letters of the old ones. Another interesting thing I found out, is that the license plate of patrol cars are also changing to the new plate design. Before, patrol cars had unique white plates that said “State” or “County”, or even “City” at the bottem, and were usually 3-35726 or something like that…basically, very easy to spot. Now, i’m starting to see patrol cars with the new plate design and all, and the only way to tell its diferent is it says “CT” in small lettering. With law enforcemnet vehicle using this new plate design, it will now be harder to spot an unmarked unit from behind.

Again, personally, I dont like the new plates, but, I just bought both of my cars this year, so, I dont have an old plate to keep….so, I guess i’ll get over it, lol

April 11, 2010 at 2:33 am
(78) Dan says:

This is the ugliest license plate I’ve ever had on one of my cars. Hideous. Who decided that every Oklahoman has to junk up his car with the addition of this fugly plate?

March 21, 2011 at 12:07 am
(79) Dustin says:

Do people with Indian tags have to pay tolls?

May 28, 2011 at 4:28 pm
(80) boobyy joe says:

Im getting a car can I still get a personalized plate with 7 letters now?

December 18, 2012 at 5:29 pm
(81) Bruce says:

Four years later and its still and ugly, tacky plate.

There’s something to be said about having simply the state name at the top with the numbers in the middle… and NO illustrations/photos/paintings.

The people who like this plate are the same people who like velvet portraits of Elvis, or people that wear t-shirts and sweaters with an air-brushed wolf and moon on the front, or fat slobs who wear basketball jerseys.

Keep it simple. This design just has no class… Then again, maybe it is a truly representative plate.

July 7, 2013 at 7:29 pm
(82) JE/2 says:

First of all I am Native American – however I don’t think people really think about that term because by direct definition if you are born in America you are therefore a “Native American”.
I am Indian as some would refer I don’t mind that reference at all. It is not racist neither is the new tag.
I find it funny that those who consider it racist are usually 1/200th and those of us 3/4 and above don’t mind it at all. In other words GET OVER YOURSELF if you don’t like the tag, get another design.

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