Hot chile pepper!
New Mexico now has the nation’s first chile pepper license plate, proclaiming the state the “Chile Capital of the World.”
The state Motor Vehicle Division announced the chile pepper plate Friday after Gov. Susana Martinez ordered the new tag. The governor on Thursday vetoed a bill to create a specialty tag, which would have required a $35 fee.
In her veto message, the governor said she supported the idea of a New Mexico chile license plate – describing it as something that “truly makes New Mexico true” – but said it should be available for all state residents at no additional cost.
The plates are expected to be available starting in June. Registered vehicle owners can swap out their current plate for $17 in an MVD or affiliate office or $7.25 online, and drivers with specialty plates can switch at no cost.
State lawmakers had been racing with neighboring Colorado to be the first state to create chile license plates. New Mexico apparently won the race with Friday’s announcement, as a Pueblo chile license plate is still pending in the Colorado General Assembly.