The following can be attributed to Dr. Joseph Savoie, University of Louisiana at Lafayette president.
UL Lafayette license plates are hitting the road once again.
After almost threee years, the state Office of Motor Vehicles began offering the prestige plates again when an injunction on the sale of all new speciality plates was lifted earlier this year. Motorists who had obtained the plates prior to the injunction were able to renew them, however.
“ The Ragin' Cajun License plates generated funds for five endowed scholarships the Alumni Association awards each year, in addtion to promoting the university,” said Dan Hare, executive director of the Association. “We're pleased that motorists can obtain them again so that we can increase our scholarship program.”
Hare said the Association received many inquries from alumni who wanted to purchase the UL Lafayette plate but couldn't. The state halted the sale of all prestige plates after the Louisiana Legislature approved “Choose Life” license plates. Legal wrangling ensued and an injuction was ordered.
“ All we could do was explain that the issuance of the plates was out of our hands,” he explained. “Now, the Association can help spread the word that Ragin' Cajun plates are back.”
A motorist can obtain a UL Lafayette plate for a car or van by paying an additional $26 fee when renewing a biennial vehicle registration or buying a new vehicle. A dollar is sent to the Louisiana Department of Motor Vehicles; the remaining $25 is dedicated to UL Lafayette solely for academic or financial-need scholarships.
Should a motorist want to convert from a current plate to the UL Lafayette plate, they can visit the Office of Motor Vehicles website at www.expresslane.org. This site allows a motorist to calculate the cost of converting from a current plate to a speciality plate.
Funds raised by the sale of UL Lafayette plates are used to endow five $10,000 scholarships. Through an endowment, the principal remains untouched; only earned interest is spent. So, each endowed scholarship yields $500 each academic year. A $500 scholarship is awarded to students in the colleges of the Arts, Business Administration, Education, Engineering and General Studies.
The Alumni Association also awards endowed scholarships to one student in each of the remaining colleges - Liberal Arts, Nursing and Allied Health Professions, and Sciences - and to a member of its student chapter, the Association of Future Alumni. Those scholarships are supported through contributions to the Association's Alumni Fund.
For more information, call the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles at (225) 925-6371 or 1-877-368-5463.