Two new Ohio State license plate designs available at Bureau of Motor Vehicles
Proceeds benefit student scholarship funds
Since 1992, Buckeyes around Ohio have raised more than $12 million for scholarships at The Ohio State University through an unlikely source: license plates.
Specialty collegiate plates are available through the Bureau of Motor Vehicles for $35 each, with $25 of that cost going directly to scholarships at the university.
“I think it’s a pride point for people,” said Anna Vonderhaar, director of marketing in the Office of Trademark and Licensing. “Being part of Ohio State is being part of a community and this is a way to show that in a fun and unique way.”
While fans may have sweatshirts or coffee mugs, she said, a license plate is something most people use every day.
“You’re driving wherever you go, so you get to take Ohio State with you.”
As of last month, buyers can choose from two new plates, bringing the total to five options – the most of any school in the state. Script Ohio and Brutus Buckeye are joining the Block O, the university spirit mark and the Ohio State University Marching Band designs. The previous three designs are the first, second and fifth bestsellers, respectively, in the state.
To develop new design ideas, Vonderhaar and her team looked at what university products sell well. While items with the Script Ohio are always popular, she was surprised by how much people were interested in Brutus.
“There’s so much excitement and pride around our mascot,” she said. “It’ll be nice to see him on cars everywhere soon.”
In fact, a member of Vonderhaar’s family has already requested she pick Brutus when she renews her license.
“My [4-year-old] son wants me to get Brutus,” she said. “He loves Brutus.”
In addition to showing Buckeye spirit, the license plates allow buyers to support students. Funds from the marching band plate support band members, while proceeds from the four others go toward the general scholarship fund. The contribution is accessible, Vonderhaar said. People don’t need to write a big check to help students.
“It all goes back to students,” she said. “It supports the mission of the university and that’s important to people.”
An added benefit of the plate designs? Making a boring task a little more exciting.
“We all have to renew our license plates,” she said. “It’s not the most fun part of being an adult. But hopefully, this makes it a little more fun by tying it back to Ohio State and our students.”
Vonderhaar has heard from people around the country about getting Ohio State plates in other states. She said her office is trying to figure that out next.
“I’ve heard directly from an alum who said, ‘I’ve seen Michigan plates in Ohio. I want to see an Ohio State plate in Michigan.’”
For more information, please visit the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles website: https://bmvonline.dps.ohio.gov/.