CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – West Virginia is getting a new wildlife license plate design featuring the Eastern Box Turtle.
The West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles says the new plate will help raise funds for important conservation projects and support education and outreach efforts for the Division of Natural Resources. The fundraising effort from the plate follows in the footsteps of other wildlife plates, including the whitetail deer, elk, and brook trout plates.
The DMV says the decision to include a plate featuring the Eastern Box Turtle was largely due to the success of the DNR’s “citizen science project,” which focused on the box turtle in 2020. Officials said more than 6,000 recorded sightings of the turtles were received statewide.
“In 1996, West Virginia voters approved a constitutional amendment that added an additional $15 per plate revenue source, with all proceeds going to the DNR’s Diversity Fund,” said Scott Warner, Assistant Chief of Wildlife Diversity for DNR.
The DMV and DNR have been collaborating on wildlife license plates to raise awareness and funding for more than 25 years. DMV Commissioner Everett Frazier said he is excited to offer another option when considering a license plate.
“We produce over 100 different specialty/organization license plates. Many customers use these plates as an opportunity to showcase something meaningful to them. For wildlife plates, it also presents an opportunity to financially support a worthy cause,” said Frazier.
The DMV says the eager interest of outdoor enthusiasts statewide helps to raise approximately $300,000 each year for conservation efforts and outreach and education.
“People are willing to pay that additional fee because they love the artwork and want to support the wildlife programs at the same time,” Warner said.
To get one of the Eastern Box Turtle license plates, West Virginians can fill out the online form under License Plate section of the Vehicles tab at dmv.wv.gov, or by visiting any of DMV’s regional offices across the state.