A ham radio license plate designed by ARRL member Matt Makaveli, KY4GPD, of Georgetown, Kentucky, has received the approval of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC). His design was one of four options, which included retaining the current license plate design. The ham radio community in the Bluegrass State picked Makaveli’s design with a 41% plurality.
“It just hasn’t sunk in,” Makaveli told the Georgetown News-Graphic. “I’m just amazed that it actually went. Somebody in the state government must’ve liked the idea.”
The lengthy approval process involved some footwork on the part of the ARRL Field Organization in Kentucky. After the polling ended, ARRL Kentucky Section State Government Liaison Jack Hedges, KY4TPR, met with the KYTC for final approval on Makaveli’s design.
“If there’s ever an example of what the ARRL organization can do for the ham radio community, this would be it,” Hedges told the newspaper.
The new license plate will not available until the current stock of plates is depleted, which is anticipated to be next summer.
ARRL Kentucky Section Manager Steve Morgan, W4NHO, told the newspaper that a ham radio license plate is important to build awareness of amateur radio. “The amateur radio license plate is sort of like a billboard saying you’re from Kentucky and you’re a ham radio operator,” Morgan said. Makaveli agreed, saying he thought the current design had become stale and did not stand out.
A ham for 6 years, Makaveli is a certified SKYWARN storm spotter and an assistant Emergency Coordinator for Scott County, Kentucky. “I heard some people already said they like the new design and are going to switch when it comes out,” Makaveli told the newspaper.
A ham radio license place in Kentucky costs $46 with a $25 “personalization” charge. Renewals will cost $21.