The popularity of Mississippi’s blackout vanity plates has soared within less than a year, bringing in an influx of funding to the state’s death benefit trust fund for law enforcement and firefighters.
A certain percentage of the total cost of the tags is sent to the fund each time a Mississippi resident purchases the blackout plate. The price of each tag varies depending on the make and model of the vehicle, with additional fees of $10 for registration and $5.40 for mailing the plate tacked on to the end total.
According to Senator Josh Harkins, Senator Scott DeLano presented the idea to the legislature as a way to provide funding to families of law enforcement and firefighters who die in the line of duty.
“We were looking for a way to create a death benefits fund for our first responders, for our EMS, our fire, and police and the blackout tag was the vehicle we used to do this,” Harkins explained.
Harkins added that the number of tags has risen exponentially since being made available in July.
“If you’ve been anywhere in Mississippi, you’ve seen the black tags on cars and it’s been wildly successful,” Harkins stated. “I think they’ve issued over 36,000 tags. It’s created over $1 million in the trust fund for death benefits for our first responders.”