For Florida and Georgia, competition goes beyond football. A bill sponsored by Georgia state Rep. Barry Fleming would ban personalized license plates in Georgia honoring other state universities, including the University of Florida, if Florida and other states don't return the favor.
The bill passed in the state House of Representatives on Thursday by a 142-10 vote, and Fleming said he expects the bill to make it through the Senate as well.
But Ann Nucatola, spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, said if Florida doesn't have any plates honoring Georgia universities, it's because no one has applied for one. It's not against the rules, Nucatola said.
She said the department had no opinion on the Georgia bill.
Fleming said while Florida may allow people to apply for a personalized plate, the process is much too difficult.
Application for a plate in Florida honoring another state university requires a $60,000 deposit, a survey that proves an interest and approval from the Florida Legislature. At least 1,000 plates must sell every year for a certain design's production to continue.
"Practically speaking, it's a bar," Fleming said.
In Georgia, he said the only requirement is that 1,000 people commit to buy the tag.
© 2008 Independent Florida Alligator via U-WIRE