INDIANAPOLIS | Hoosiers unaware that Indiana is marking 200 years as a state in 2016 will soon be reminded of it just about everywhere they go.
The Indiana Bicentennial Commission and Bureau of Motor Vehicles on Thursday unveiled the state's new standard license plate, featuring a bicentennial theme. The bicentennial plate will replace Indiana's current blue license plate containing an image of the torch from the state flag.
The new plate has a white background with "Indiana" printed at the top in large blue capital letters and "Bicentennial 1816-2016" printed in smaller blue type on a yellow-colored strip along the bottom of the plate.
To the left of the black registration numbers in the center of the plate is a blue image of the state's shape with a large "200" printed diagonally across the middle. The state is surrounded by 18 blue and white stars and a single yellow star, marking Indiana's spot as the 19th state to join the union.
"We can't think of a better way of raising the awareness and preparing all of our people for the bicentennial than having millions of vehicles traveling our streets and our highways advertising this bicentennial," said Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman, co-chairwoman of the Bicentennial Commission.
The bicentennial plate will be available for purchase starting Dec. 27. Owners of the nearly 2 million vehicles with the current blue "torch" plate will receive the bicentennial plate at no additional charge when they renew their registrations next year.
The "In God We Trust" plate remains available as Indiana's alternate standard license plate. Hoosiers also can continue purchasing group license plates that support various organizations, causes and universities.
State law requires Indiana's standard license plate be redesigned every five years.