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New Question for New Mexicans: Yellow or Turquoise?

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Old yellow plates and new turquoise plates will be state’s standard official license plates


Red or green? Hey, New Mexicans, how about another question: yellow or turquoise?

The results of an online poll the state conducted are in, and Gov. Bill Richardson announced Friday that New Mexicans want the option of picking the traditional yellow license plate or the new

turquoise centennial license plate for their vehicles.

“The people have spoken,” the governor said. “They have not only welcomed the new centennial license plate, but have a very nostalgic attachment to the classic yellow plate. Therefore, I am directing the Motor Vehicle Division to issue both the old yellow and the new turquoise as New Mexico’s standard official license plates.”

According to a news release from the Governor’s Office, about 77 percent of 8,846 people who cast votes during the month-long online balloting that ended Friday wanted to keep the yellow plate along with the new turquoise plate, while about 23 percent wanted the turquoise plate to be the only standard official license plate.

Richardson unveiled the centennial plate in August to commemorate 100 years of New Mexico’s statehood. After commemoration activities end in 2012, the phrase “Centennial 1912-2012” will be replaced and it will continue to be used as an official plate.

The plan was for the new turquoise plate, which will be available in January, to replace what has become known as the balloon plate since it was first introduced in 1999. The governor said because many New Mexicans have a nostalgic attachment to the classic yellow plate that has existed in various forms since 1980, he wanted public input about whether to keep that plate as well or just have the turquoise plate as the state’s official plate.

State Taxation and Revenue Secretary Rick Homans, whose agency includes the MVD, said Friday: “New Mexicans love red and green, but they also love yellow and turquoise. The good news is that New Mexico will have two of the most distinctive and colorful plates in the country.”