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License Plate FAQ

Are these real license plates?

Yes. Through a bill that was passed by the Tennessee General Assembly, these plates are part of Tennessee’s specialized license plate program. They are legal plates for non-commercial vehicles in Tennessee.

When do I pay for the plate?

Likely we will follow up with you in November or December.

When will I receive my plate?

We have to pre-sell 1,000 plates before the State of Tennessee will start printing them. Likely the plates will be available in mid-2023.

What if you don’t sell 1,000?

Your money will be returned; the plates won’t be printed. We don’t actually turn the money into the State of Tennessee until we have sold 1,000 plates. We hold the money in escrow. If we don’t sell 1,000, we will return the money to the people who reserved the plates.

I don’t live in Hendersonville. Can I buy one of these?

Yes. Anybody in Tennessee can buy one of these plates and use it on their cars.

Who does the money go to?

To buy a plate the cost is $35 per vehicle. The money will go toward the SMORE reading camp for elementary school students.

How much of the money goes to the SMORE reading camp?

The State of Tennessee will keep $1 of the $35 cost. The rest of the money comes back to help the SMORE camp.

What is the SMORE reading camp?

Several years ago, the mayor and a handful of educators started a summer camp for elementary students who are struggling readers. These educators were concerned about elementary students who lost reading skills during their summer break. The camp has offered free instruction, licensed teachers, fun activities, lunch, and snacks for several weeks each summer for the past five summers. More than 150 students have participated. Half of them have maintained their reading skills during the summer. Half have improved.

If I just renewed my tags, will I be charged double to buy the Hendersonville plate?
If my tags are expiring, will I be charged double to buy the Hendersonville plate?

You won't have to pay double. After you order a Hendersonville license plate and pay the $35 fee for the plate, it will take a few months for the plate to arrive. When it is ready, the state will send you a letter, asking you to pick up your Hendersonville plate at the Sumner County clerk’s office. When you pick it up, the clerk will give you your Hendersonville plate with a new county sticker for a whole year. The clerk will charge you a partial-year rate for that sticker even though the sticker is good for 12 months. 

Let’s say your county sticker expires in March but the Hendersonville plates are not ready until June. You should renew your county sticker in March, paying $80 to the Sumner County clerk for your new 12-month sticker. That will keep you legal through March 2024. Three months later, in June, you should pick up the Hendersonville plate and pay $20 for a new sticker that will last until June of 2024. In total, you will have paid $100 for stickers that last 15 months.

Go ahead and order the Hendersonville plate and pay the $35 for the plate. When your county sticker expires, you should renew it. When your Hendersonville plate is ready, pick it up. Meanwhile the SMORE reading camp will use your $35 to help struggling, young readers.

What is Improve Hendersonville?

When the SMORE camp started, the finances were handled by Community Church of Hendersonville, a non-profit 501(c)3. As the program took off, the volunteers who guided the program worked to get status as its own organization. That is how Improve Hendersonville was born. It is now a 501(c)3 that also is recognized by the State of Tennessee as a charitable organization. Its only program is the SMORE camp. However, it likely will focus on additional, local needs in the future. That could include tutoring, school staffing, and after school programs. William Slater is the chairman. Jonathan Langlois is the treasurer. Jamie Clary is the secretary. Babs Rector and Amy Ramsey are also on the board.

How will SMORE use the money?

At least for the first three years, the money from the license plates will go to the summer SMORE camp. The camp needs financial stability and needs to be able to accept more students. Too many struggling readers are not able to participate in SMORE for a number of reasons. More funds will help. Most of the SMORE donations are used to pay licensed teachers and buy appropriate classroom materials.

When will I receive the specialized license plate?

We have to sell 1,000 plates before the any of them will be printed. Once we reach that number, we submit the order forms to the State. Our goal is to sell 1,000 plates by December 31, 2022. Within a couple months the state will have the plates ready.

Can I keep that license plate for more than a year?

Yes, and we hope you do. We have to maintain at least 800 license plates year after year for these plates to be continued. Every year that you renew the Hendersonville plate, you will be charged $35.

Can I keep my personalized plate?

Not for the first year. However, once the initial order is produced a customer may order a personalized plate by visiting our online personalized plate website

Can I get a disabled specialty plate?

No. However, a disabled driver decal is available through the local county clerk’s office.

Order a Plate

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