Utah's State Centennial Commission hopes to fund its activities over the next seven years largely through the sale of commemorative automobile license plates that should be available to the public beginning in January 1992.

Commission members were told that Idaho's license plate program has so far netted its centennial commission some $4 million."Utah has nearly twice as many registered vehicles as Idaho, so I think we could be looking at a good source of money," said Max Evans, Utah State Historical Society director.

Evans said he will meet with Utah commercial artists later this year to obtain ideas and perhaps bid a contract to design the plate.

Utah motorists would not be required to buy the plates, however. The optional plates would be made available for an initial $25 fee in 1992. Subsequent renewals over the following five years would cost an extra $10 annually. The plates would expire in 1997, and motorists would revert to the traditional state license plate.

Evans said the commission hopes to avoid having to go to the Legislature with a funding request by using license plate revenues and the licensing of a logo and slogan to finance its lead-in programs and the final extravaganza planned for Jan. 4, 1996.