SALT LAKE CITY — A proposal to create a specialty license plate with a popular national motto will proceed to the Utah Legislature.

The Transportation Interim Committee voted Wednesday to allow a draft bill to create an "In God We Trust" plate to move forward in the review process of the upcoming legislative session.

The idea for the plate came from 11-year-old Utah County resident Tate Christensen, who collects license plates with his father.

After finding that several other states already had plates with the motto, Christensen wanted to get one in Utah. Speaking before the committee at the Capitol, the boy read a prepared statement to lawmakers explaining why such a project would be worthwhile.

As expected, members of the committee expressed wide support for the idea and voted to put the bill on the agenda for lawmakers to consider in January.

"It was cool and interesting to listen to how much it takes to make a specialized license plate," Christensen said.

While the measure passed out of the interim committee, the bill still has to proceed through the formal legislative process during the 2013 session. Until that time, Christensen said, he would work hard to collect the required 500 preorders for the plate to actually get them produced.

Christensen said about 100 people have committed to purchasing the plate, leaving another 400 outstanding before the measure could pass.

Paul Warner, executive director of the Freedom Festival at Provo, is head of the group that will be tasked with garnering support and collecting the remaining orders necessary to get the plates produced.

Anyone interested can download and complete the specialized plates form, pay the requisite $43 in fees and then mail the money and form to the Freedom Festival offices, Warner said.

"We think there is enough interest in the message people will be desirous of having a plate that says, 'In God We Trust,'" he said.

Using a large database, Warner said, the group will utilize email and volunteers to market the specialty plate to get the preorders needed to have the plates produced, hopefully before the session ends in March.

"With the current conditions in the country, there is a desire for people to express the fact that there is a belief in God and that our country was based on that from the very start," he said. "They would like to express that on a license plate."


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