HELENA, Montana – License plates designed to raise money for the Mule Deer Foundation (MDF) can now be purchased from the Montana Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). When registering or renewing vehicles, Montana drivers can donate an additional $20 to receive the new plates featuring the MDF logo. If MDF supporters wish to surrender their current license plates, a $35 one-time administration fee will also be collected.
MDF’s Western Montana Chapter, including Ray Rugg and Jennifer Cote, initiated the project as far back as 2004. Fees of $4,000 had to be raised before submitting logos for design, and other DMV requirements had to be met.
In 2006, the chapter mailed requests for donations to all MDF members in Montana. The campaign raised approximately $380. In 2006, the Helena Lewis and Clark Chapter, chaired by Judy Dellinger, put $1,600 toward the endeavor. The Billings Chapter, chaired by John Wilson, pitched in $500. Earlier this year, MDF Conservation Partner Ron Knapp came in with the remaining amount needed to get the license design underway.
MDF Montana State Chair Dan Dellinger completed and hand-delivered all the necessary paperwork to the DMV in Deer Lodge, Mont. He then spoke with the shop foreman at Deer Lodge State Prison about design work for the plate. Dellinger supplied two MDF logos and within two weeks was sent a digital copy of the license plate designed by Deer Lodge prisoners.
“We were blown away,” said Dellinger of the digital image. “It was immediately submitted to the DMV and other state agencies for approval.”
The plates are now available through all Montana registrar offices. Money raised from sales of the Montana plates will be used, in part, to fund habitat enhancements, as well as conservation research and education in the state.
The Mule Deer Foundation is a national non-profit 501(c)3 organization with over 12,000 members. MDF’s mission is to ensure the conservation of mule deer, black-tailed deer and their habitats. For information about the Mule Deer Foundation please call 1-888-375-DEER (3337) or visit www.muledeer.org.