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Photos | Kansas license plate designs that could have been

View the license plate designs submitted to Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly's Office
Kansas license plate submissions
Posted at 2:00 PM, Feb 26, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Starting next month Kansas will have a new license plate — featuring the statehouse dome and a cutout of Kansas — but when it came to the design process, not everything was coming up roses for the Sunflower State.

Winning KS Plate.jpg

In November, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly's office originally announced the license plate's design would have a black and "wheat yellow" color scheme, marked with the phrase "to the stars," to represent Kansas' motto: "ad astra per astra."

But, when the design received push-back from Kansans, Gov. Kelly announced her office would go back to the drawing board.

kansas license plate

“I promised to be a bipartisan governor, and I think we can all admit — I succeeded at bringing Kansans across the political aisle together in disliking this new license plate,” Kelly said in a release.

Before a vote decided the final license plate design, Kelly's office received multiple submissions for potential license plate designs.

On Monday, KSHB 41 News received the designs submitted to Kelly's office.

These are the Kansas license plate designs that could have been:

license plate submission

The first submission leaned into Kansas' agricultural ties, with rolling fields of golden wheat stretching under a bright blue sky.

This design is a bit more detailed than the official license plate, likely due to the strict license plate guidelines that had to be taken into account.

“Kansans will notice that license plates across the country are moving to simpler designs — that’s because of law enforcement and license plate reader requirements,” Kelly said in a statement.

license plate submission 2

The next design was in an earlier stage of development, but included wheat, planes, sunflowers and stars.

It even shared the same Kansas outline cutout as the final design.

"Every rectangle in KS must have the Doniphan Co. cutouts," a note on the design read.

license plate 3.png

A third design went all in on Kansas being the sunflower state, with a large sunflower and yellow petals over a blue background.

license plate 4.png

Kelly's office also received a more unconventional design, complete with large googly eyes and the phrase "take a look at Kansas."

This design surely failed to meet the “strict public safety, printing and branding guidelines" that were taken into account.

While these designs from the public won't adorn cars around the state, Kansans still weighed in on the final design through an online poll, with nearly 270,000 votes cast.

The new license plate design will be released right around the corner, starting in spring 2024.