The idea for the new plate comes from Tate Christensen, an 11-year-old license plate collector from Salt Lake City, and the nephew of Mike Mower, Governor Gary Herbert’s Deputy Chief of Staff. Mower contacted America’s Freedom Festival about spearheading the project, and the Board of Directors was extremely enthusiastic about the idea.
“From Iowa to Virginia to Florida, drivers in many states can purchase license plates with the inspiring mottos ‘God Bless America’ or ‘In God We Trust’,” said Paul Warner, Executive Director of America’s Freedom Festival at Provo. “Shouldn’t Utah have something similar?”
State law requires that 500 Utahns pre-order a new license plate before it becomes available to the public. Citizens should visit HERE to find out how they can pre-order the “In God We Trust” plate.
“We need at least 500 people to pre-order before the plate becomes available statewide,” said Warner. “We believe there is definitely a demand in Utah for the plate. We’re counting on enough citizens to visit our website and get involved.”
Christensen and his father have long collected license plates. Christensen has won an award for his collection of Utah motorcycle plates, and even shows his license plates at national meets. A few years ago Christensen asked his uncle, Mower, why Utah doesn't have an “In God We Trust” license plate.
“After Tate showed me an Indiana plate with ‘In God We Trust’ and an Alabama plate with ‘God Bless America’, I knew he was on to something,” said Mower. “In Indiana, it’s one of the state’s most popular license plates.”
Mower later spoke with Evan Curtis in the Governor's Office of Planning & Budget, and on his own time Curtis designed the “In God We Trust” sticker for the new license plate.
“We feel that our national motto, ‘In God We Trust’, is an extremely important message,” said Mower. “It’s definitely one worth sharing and promoting on a license plate by those who voluntarily choose to do so.”
When Mower shared the idea with Representative Val Peterson of Orem, he was excited to lend his support by sponsoring legislation to create the plate. Senator Todd Weiler of Davis County agreed to be the Senate sponsor of the bill.
“Utah should be a leader in supporting our faith and our country,” said Representative Peterson. “The passage of this bill will allow people to make a statement about the principles upon which this country was founded. I am excited to lend my support to this proposal.”
“Our nation's motto, ‘In God We Trust’, was first placed on U.S. coins during the Civil War in 1864,” said Senator Weiler. “It has been on our currency since 1957. I think it is very fitting that Utah join with many other states in allowing people to voluntarily select vehicle license plates that share this profoundly significant message.”