Nevada's 150th anniversary license plates made in Oregon

RENO, Nev. (AP) At least Nevada's sesquicentennial license plates don't say, "Alis Volat Propriis."

The Latin phrase meaning "She Flies With Her Own Wings" is the state motto for Oregon, which is where the commemorative plates are being manufactured for Nevada's 150th birthday.

Nevada's Legislative Counsel Bureau raised concerns earlier this week that the decision to hire a Portland firm to make the plates may have been a violation of state law.

But Counsel Bureau Director Rick Combs said Wednesday that bureau lawyers are satisfied with the Department of Motor Vehicles' explanation that the "Battle Born" plates don't necessarily have to be born entirely in Nevada.

The dark-blue plates with the "Battle Born" insignia and embossed letters are being made by Irwin Hodson Co. of Portland because DMV officials say their equipment and that of 3M, which supplies the state's plate materials, can't make the plates.

Combs said DMV officials explained the finished products are being "produced" at the state prison, as required by law. He said use of the phrase "produced" in the statute includes more than just manufacturing.

The Nevada Appeal first reported in Wednesday's editions about the concerns regarding the statute which states, "The director shall utilize the facility for the production of license plates which is located at the Department of Corrections to produce all license plates required by the Department of Motor Vehicles."

"We came across the statute at LCB and wanted to know if this was OK," Combs told The Associated Press.

"It was not accusation, just a question as to how they viewed this given the statute," he said Wednesday. "And basically, they said yes they are being manufactured in Portland, but the term 'produced' covers things in addition to manufacturing."

"We're going to leave that to them to decide. We just wanted them to be sure they knew about the statute to try to help them out. We're not going to do anything else about it," he said.

DMV Director Troy Dillard said that while the plates are made in Portland, the rest of the production process, including the paperwork, repackaging and shipping of plates to DMV offices statewide, occurs at the "tag plant" in the old Nevada State Prison.

Gerald Gardner, chief of staff to Gov. Brian Sandoval, told the Appeal that the governor's office agrees with DMV's interpretation.

DMV spokesman David Fierro said the sesquicentennial plate is very specialized, incorporating not only multiple colors, reflective paint and the very dark-blue background but also the embossing. He said the only company they could find that could make the design properly was the Oregon one.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press

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