Delaware drivers are conditioned to expect long waits at the DMV, but no one had been prepared for one that would last six years. Since 2007, Flyers fans in the First State have been waiting for their logo’d license plates.
In Pennsylvania, fans can purchase specialized license plates with the Flyers logo for an extra fee, a portion of which benefits a wide range of philanthropic groups that Comcast Spectacor Charities supports. Since the plate’s approval in Pennsylvania, thousands in the state have upgraded their own plates in order to show support for their local hockey team.
Donna Katzman, Director of Events for Comcast Spectacor Charities, explained that the process to apply for specialized plates in Delaware proved far more troublesome. In fact, non-profit organizations are not even permitted to apply for special license plates for members until they have confirmation that a minimum of 200 drivers would commit to purchasing the plate. Such a policy requires Flyers fans in Delaware to send in payment prior to receiving their plates.
While those who did send in their money were initially warned that it may take some time to reach this required number of applications, they had not anticipated that Comcast Spectacor Charities would fail to reach the number. A year after the individuals had submitted their payment, Comcast Spectacor Charities was forced to issue refunds due to a low total number of paid applicants.
Katzman said that it was difficult to market the plate to potential applicants because the DMV would not approve a plate design prior to reviewing the specialty plate application. Although Katzaman said that the plate would likely feature the Flyers logo and include a small caption (as shown above), it was still difficult to advertise to fans.
“If they can’t see the plate, they will be hesitant to put down money,” she explained.
Despite these obstacles, Comcast Spectacor Charities has persisted to attempt to reach the critical number of 200. With the aid of a marketing campaign and the use of social media, the organization received the information from 200 applicants in the summer of 2009. While the support for the organization in Delaware was clearly present, Katzman and her team still faced the battle of gathering payment.
A year later in the spring of 2010, over half of the applicants had failed to submit their payment.
It was at this point in the process that Comcast Spectacor Charities opted to reach out for support from local politicians, hoping that with their aid that they would be exempt from the 200 applicant rule as two other organizations had been in the past.
That summer Tom Kovach introduced House Bill No. 489 to the 145th General Assembly. The House bill did indeed pass in late June, but it did not reach the Senate as the legislative session ended right before it could do so. Additionally, Koavach was not re-elected, and the bill therefore didn’t move forward, so Comcast Spectacor Charities was in the same predicament that they had been in prior to their efforts to achieve exemption.
Next up was Delaware Senator Michael Katz, who proposed Senate Bill 106 in the 146th General Assembly in 2011. A Flyers season ticket holder himself, Katz was eager to help the organization lower the number of required applicants. Ultimately, Katz was also unsuccessful, as he also lost his re-election bid in November of 2012.
After so many instances of failure, Katzman is frustrated. “I get angry calls,” she said. “I’m angry, [too].” Katzman said that fans are understanding that Comcast Spectacor Charities are putting their best efforts forth.
“I’ve been trying to be diligent. Everyone in Delaware knows how difficult the DMV is,” she said.
Although the timeline for these plates appears to be endless, Katzman said that the hockey season this coming fall will be the final attempt to apply for the specialized plates. She’s hopeful the Flyers will finally reach the minimum number of 200 paid applicants.
“My mom grew up in Delaware. These are my people. I feel responsible for them,” she said of the patient applicants. “I’m right there with you.”
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