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  • Polk County Kids Tag Art

  Kids Tag Art - Video

 Kids Tag Art - The Story

“Take a drive anywhere in Florida, and your eyes take in a plethora of various license plate designs. Florida offers over 120 different designs for license tags, the second highest of any state in the nation.”

The above quote from a recent newspaper article illustrates the popularity of state specialty tags, their creativity and the role they play as an important fund-raising source for state-wide community sector non-profit organizations.

Each state specialty tag must be approved by the Florida Legislature and is distributed through local tax collector offices. These specialty tags benefit universities, public schools, environmental organizations, sports foundations, and other causes promoted by non-profit sponsoring organizations.

Back in 2002, Joe Tedder, Tax Collector for Polk County, encouraged his staff to get involved in the Great American Teach-In, where community leaders were invited into classrooms across the county. Randy Hunt, Tedder’s Chief Deputy of Administration, spear-headed the effort with a visit to Valleyview Elementary School in south Lakeland. There he presented an informational program to 5th graders that invited the students to create their own specialty license plate artwork.

The program was a hit in the classroom. The children enjoyed learning more about specialty tags and designing their own. Many of the tags were very clever and exhibited well-developed artistic composition. Today those tags can still be seen on the Tax Collector website,

Subsequently, the Tax Collector’s Office began to think of a way to let everyone in on the fun!


With founding sponsors Central Florida Eurocars and Douglass Screen Printers, along with The Polk County Schools, Polk Museum of Art, Ridge Art Association, Lake Wales Art Council, and The Polk Arts Alliance, this project has become a great classroom art fundraiser as well as lasting representation of the children's fifth grade art, tags of which can be displayed either on the front bumper of the family car or in the child’s home. The project is designed to generate dollars that teachers can use to expand their program offerings and engage creativity.

Below is a list of fun facts relating to license plates which you can share with your students.

Polk County Kids Tag Art Fun Facts

What are the symbols on Florida’s regular license plate? State of Florida and the Orange

Where do auto owners get there license plates? Tax Collector’s Offices

License tags must be renewed by when? Your birthday (not at the end of the month!)

How much more do specialty tags cost? It varies from $15 - $25; Maximum is $25

How much money is collected for license tags each year? The dollars now exceed $32 Million in Polk County; $1 Billion State-wide

Which was the first specialty tag and why was it developed? The Challenger tag; it provides funds for astronaut memorials and space research and economic development. $ 1.1 million annual in 2004

What is the best selling specialty tag? The University of Florida tag; it generated $2.3 million in 2019

What are the next 5 top selling tags? (2) Helping Sea Turtles Survive (3) Endless Summer (4) Florida State University (5) Protect Wild Dolphins.

How many tags are sold each year and how much money is raised? 1.7 Million Specialty Tags; $39 Million Statewide (as of June 2019)

How many character spaces can you use to personalize a tag? If the specialty tag has a center design, you can use 7 characters and a space or a dash; otherwise, only 5 characters are available.