North Carolina Free “In God We Trust” License Plates Now Available

Benson Kua is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Drivers in North Carolina receive a third option for a default (free) license plate design; “In God We Trust.” Citizens could previously choose between license plates, which said “First in Freedom” and “First in Flight.”

In addition to the above lines, the national/state motto registration plate will also include the state motto which says, “To Be Rather Than To Seem.” NCDMV Commissioner Torre J. Jessup said that they are excited to be able to offer their customers an additional plate.

Some have said that it’s not a motto and is another way that the government is trying to make Christianity its official religion. Rep. Bert Jones sponsored the bill to create this bill in 2017.  In a similar move, Jones proposed putting the same phrase in public schools. He claimed that he was following the Project Blitz playbook. Neither of these bills became law. The plate exists now because the language that Jones used has been put into last year’s state budget.

People have expressed their criticism because this is now the second “In God We Trust” plate being offered from the state. There’s a Bald Eagle-clad vanity plate with the phrase available for $30. The religious plate is optional, which is how it’s able to dodge lawsuits over it promoting one religion over another.

If vehicle owners want to apply for a national/state motto without any extra charge, they must request the plate at the time of their registration renewal. A standard fee is levied if the vehicle owner applies for the plate at non-renewal times. Vehicle owners who’d like to find the location of license plate agencies may do so by visiting the division’s website at www.ncdot.gov/dmv.

It’s interesting to note that Mississippi has only one option for a default license plate, and it reads “In God We Trust.” However, there hasn’t been any lawsuit filed over that being the only default license plate offered.

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