Thousands of Illinois residents have been wanting these insect-loving specialty license plates for several years, and now they are here, and available to order.

New Illinois Specialty License Plate

In 2016, a couple of thousand Illinois residents became instant fans of a new specialty license plate and quickly put down a deposit on one. Those license plates never went to production.

This is not the beginning of a story of why that happened, to be honest, I have no idea what happened. I do have a "slowly moving and forgetful government" assumption, though.

The long wait for 2,000 Illinois residents is over, and your new specialty plates are on the way, or at least that's the indication from Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias who officially rolled out the specialty plate, which pays homage to the Illinois' state insect.

In 2016, a law was passed creating a "universal" license plate. The number of specialty plates on the road has become a problem for law enforcement due to the many different designs, according to NBC Chicago.

New specialty plates will now have a universal, standardized design, but include a decal on the left side depicting the cause or charity it supports.

In order for a specialty plate to go into production, at least 2,000 people have to pay that deposit ($10). That amount was hit back in 2018 and here's the design for the first universal license plate that is now available for fans of the Monarch Butterfly.


The Monarch Butterfly Illinois License Plate

The Office of the Illinois Secretary of State
The Office of the Illinois
Secretary of State


Funds raised from license plate sales go toward the Illinois Department of Natural Resources' Roadside Monarch Habitat Fund. which helps foster habitats to support the butterflies during their twice-yearly migratory journey from Mexico to Chicago with a goal to add 150 million new milkweed stems and other nectar resources to the Illinois landscape in the next 15 years.

Random-number, personalized, or vanity plates, are all available. The new plates will come at a pretty big discount if your current plates don't expire within the next 90 days. For more information from the Illinois SOS's office or to order your plates, click HERE.

MORE: Did You Know Illinois Has 9 Different State Animals, Can You Name Them?

What Illinois License Plates Looked Like the Year You Were Born

Take a look at the history of Illinois license plates. This photo gallery includes every plate used in the Land of Lincoln from 1911 to 2023. 

Gallery Credit: Steve Shannon

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