Recent changes in the state law allowing specialty license plates will make it easier for nonprofits looking to raise money from the plates. Under the current version of the law, a nonprofit had to post a $100,000 bond and amass 1,500 individual applications for specialty plates before the plates could go into production. A new version of the law, set to take effect in January, reduces the minimum number of applications to 750. The new law will also extend the allotted time for reaching 3,000 applications from two years to five (once the 3,000 threshold is hit, the bond will be refunded).

It all adds up to good news for Martha’s Vineyard Community Services, which launched a specialty license plate program on the Vineyard this year as a fundraising project.

Currently, community services has 710 applicants for the plates. Cape and Islands Rep. Tim Madden said he saw no reason why the law wouldn’t be retroactive. If it is, community services will only need 40 more applicants until the first goal is met.

“The whole idea is to make it easier for nonprofits to reach their goal,” said Mr. Madden.

“The fact that we have five years to hit the 3,000 mark is huge,” said Mary Korba, communications director for community services. “We’re really just going to continue full steam ahead. We’re sticking with our goal, and looking to make it in two years.” Though the checks from current applicants are post dated for June 2016, community services will be working to get new checks sent in with January dates, to make the process go more quickly.

“We are thrilled with the response that we’ve received thus far from the community and it truly is the gift that keeps on giving,” said Ms. Korba.

Mr. Madden told the Gazette last week he was pleased to see the legislation go through. “Little victories,”he said. “I’ve put my name in for one too.”

The fee for a license plate is $40, with $12 going to cover the state’s production cost and $28 returned to Island nonprofits including Community Services. Additionally the state charges a one-time $20 swap fee when applicants pick up their plate. The special plates are renewed every two years with the entire $40 tax-deductible fee benefiting Vineyard nonprofits.

To find out more about the Martha’s Vineyard License plate, visit or MV License Plate on Facebook.

For those people who have already pre-registered for a specialty plate, someone from the license plate committee will be in contact about submitting a new check. For questions, call 508-693-7900 extension 222, or email