Custer County license plates numbers to change

Custer County Treasurer Press Release

The Custer County Treasurer’s Office has received a press release from the State of Nebraska, Department of Motor Vehicle, regarding changes to the county specific farm and commercial license plates.

We started work on this conversion early in 2016 to prepare Custer County residents for this new look. This along with the new 2017 plate series being issued will be a dramatic change for everyone.

Residents will see the truck and farm commercial plates with an alpha character added to the end of the plate number. For example, the first farm plate 4 – 1 is now issued with an R making the plate 4 -1R. The commercial plates have an A added to the end.

This change was as a result of more jurisdictions using electronic tolling and parking. Several Custer County residents have experienced this where a ticket, summons, or collection agency has contacted them and requested a fine be paid. The most recent issue, in May 2016, involved a gentleman from Lincoln who received a toll charge from Colorado. He had never lived in Custer County and hadn’t been to Colorado for seven years. Initially, I immediately thought it was fraudulent. After working with the State, it was found not to be and the toll was a mistake due to our plate system.

The prior licensing program had the potential of having 500,000 duplicate numbers. For example, other state’s systems may not differentiate between 4-1 farm, 4-1 commercial, 4-1 motorcycle, 4 -1 motor home or 4-1 soil and water.

Custer County has used the block reservation in the past and will be able to do this for the 2017 passenger plates. The passenger plates will not be effected by this alpha character being added. The truck farm and truck commercial plate reservations are being done manually. Staff are reviewing registrations daily to make sure numbers are reserved if the registration is kept current. Every effort is being made to make sure the customers will receive the same number(s) as in the past. We will not be able to take requests for plate reservations with the change in the numbering system. A higher priority is on making sure plates are reserved that have been kept registered.

Customers will still be given the option of picking their number off an available plates list for a new purchase.

Custer County Interesting Facts:
We have received all our plate inventory for the initial 2017 plate order. To give the public an idea of the size of the project, the following amounts of plates are in our office:
o Passenger plates 9400
o Commercial 3000
o Farm 5600
o Motorcycle 475
o RV 750
o Travel trailers 600
o Trailers 5000
o Miscellaneous plates vary in amount (Mountain Lion, Beef State, Nebraska Corn Growers, Ex-POW, Pearl Harbor, Military Honor, EMS, Amateur Radio, Husker Spirit, Dealer)

We have received and issued most of the following amounts for the current 2011 plate series:
o Passenger plates 11,400
o Commercial 4,300
o Farm 6,850
o Motorcycle 805
o RV 1105
o Travel trailers 1245
o Trailers 8550

In 1922, the State of Nebraska established the practice of using prefix numbers to identify the counties in which vehicles were registered. Each county was given a number based upon the number of registered vehicles in the county at the time. With Custer County having the fourth highest amount of vehicles, four was assigned to Custer County. Nebraska is unique as the system is still in place for the majority of the counties.

I have received regular letters over the last seventeen years from the State of Nebraska asking if we would like to switch to an alpha numeric system. The item is put on the Custer County Board of Supervisor’s Agenda and a letter is sent back to the State with my recommendation we deny the change. Our county number “4” is a matter of pride for so many constituents with numbers being passed down through family members.