🔵 New Jersey has had a similar license-plate background since the early 1990s

🔵 A bill paves the way for the MVC to reintroduce a throwback version

🔵 NJ could pull the plug if not enough drivers are interested

New Jersey may bring back the old-school license plates that your parents probably had on their cars back in the day.

Under a proposed law introduced this year by a Democrat in the Assembly and a Republican in the Senate, the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission would get the green light to reissue the classic blue license plates that were around starting in the late 1970s.

The style — blue background with yellow letters and numbers — was around until 1991, when plates switched to a style similar to what New Jersey has today.

Cost of a blue NJ license plate

Photo provided by Jim Moini
Photo provided by Jim Moini

If the bill were to become law, you'd had to put out $50 to apply for the retro plate.

There would also be a $10 renewal fee each year.

According to the bill, design and production of the plates wouldn't even begin until there are at least 500 completed applications for them.

Price of implementation

The bill says that New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission would not be able to use any state funds to get the classic plates ready for distribution.

Instead, the state would have to collect at least $25,000 in "non-public moneys" to offset the costs of design and issuance of the blue plates.

The bill notes that any funds leftover after costs related to the implementation would be deposited into a fund devoted to transportation projects.

Costs related to the program will determine whether it continues after a couple years, the bill says. If the average cost per plate (related to production of the plates and publicizing the program) exceeds $50 in two consecutive fiscal years, the MVC can pull the plug on the program.

New Jersey's license plate designs through the years

Gallery Credit: Joe Votruba

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