Sunday, May 29, 2022

Why are there so few "In God we Trust" license plates in Davidson County?

by Rod Williams, May 29, 2022- It is not because we are a bunch of heathens, although we very well may be.  I was going to go with the God option but it requires going to the clerk's office in person or renewing by mail, and to me, it was not worth the extra effort, so I went with the easier no God option. (There is probably a sermon in that statement somewhere.)

When you visit the Davidson County Clerks office website, you get the following message.

Adding 'In God we Trust' to your new blue plate when your old green mountain plate didn’t include it, requires a plate class change.  There is no additional fee, however, this change requires a signature by the registered owner of the vehicle.  You may sign when renewing in person or include a note with your signature when renewing by mail.  Unfortunately, this change cannot be made when renewing online.

"Only 13.3% of Nashvillians getting new plates have opted for the trusting God plates making Music City a real outlier in the Volunteer State.  A majority of drivers in 86 of the state's 95 counties are choosing the "In God We Trust" plates as of May 16, according to numbers from the state Department of Revenue." Compared to the 13.3% of Nashvillians who went with the God plate, in Fentress County, 98.1% of the people did so. (1)

Apparently, not all counties offer online tag renewals which makes renewing tags easier but if it is like it is in Nashville that also means a person cannot choose the God option and also renew online.  The DMV website says, "For a list of counties that offer online registration renewals, please see the complete list provided on the TN DOR website." When you click on the link then you do not see such a list. You have to put in the County where your car is registered and the license plate number to see the next page and determine if online registration is available. Many counties do not offer kiosk renewals, so I am assuming the smaller counties do not have the online option either. 

I don't doubt that more rural counties have more religious people than more urban counties, but there is an additional reason why there are so few "In God we Trust," license plates in Nashville.  In addition to the online renewal option not offering the "In God we Trust," option, this report says the Davidson County Clerk's office had no sign posted announcing the option and did not tell those people renewing in person there was even an option. Many people did not know there was a choice. If people didn't ask for it, the default plate was the one without "In God we Trust."  I bet in Fentress County, people were made aware of the option. 

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