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Maine unveils new standard license plate with pine tree, blue star

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Maine unveils new standard license plate with pine tree, blue star

Feb 26, 2024 | 11:32 am ET
By AnnMarie Hilton
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Maine unveils new standard license plate with pine tree, blue star
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The new Pine Tree Plate, unveiled by the Sec. of State's office on Feb. 26. (Courtesy Maine Sec. of State)

Thanks to a new law passed last year, Maine will replace its standard-issue Chickadee Plate with a new design. 

Starting in May 2025, the state will issue a new plate featuring a rendition of the 1901 Maine flag with a pine tree and blue star. The new design was unveiled by the Secretary of State Shenna Bellows and Deputy Secretary of State for the Bureau of Motor Vehicles Cathie Curtis at a news conference Monday in Augusta on Monday. 

Maine unveils new standard license plate with pine tree, blue star
The change came from LD 1965, which was sponsored by Rep. Lynne Williams (D-Bar Harbor). It called for two designs: The one with the tree and star and another plain plate with blue identification numbers and letters. 

“The new Pine Tree Plate is a fresh approach to a classic design rooted in Maine history, but the ultimate purpose of license plates is for vehicle identification to ensure public safety on our roads and highways” said Bellows at a press conference unveiling the design. “Damaged or worn out plates on our roadways increase risks to the general public, and worn-out plates reduce law enforcement’s ability to be effective when handling crimes that could be prevented or solved through the identification of license plates.”

Curtis noted that the Chickadee Plate has been in circulation for almost 25 years.

“The Chickadee Plate will see over 900,000 replacements between May of 2025, and May 2026, a huge logistical undertaking coordinated by BMV staff, our municipal partners, and Waldale Manufacturing,” Curtis said, adding that for Mainers who want to reserve their current vanity plates or numbers, a reservation process will begin later this spring.

In the coming months, Bellows is also expected to unveil a similar design based on the original state flag to be voted on in the November 2024 election to replace the current emblem.

This story was updated to include quotes from officials.