A LICENSE PLATE THAT PROTECTS OREGON'S WILDLIFE
The Watch for Wildlife license plate will be available for purchase at all DMV locations starting May 4, 2022. For more information about Oregon specialty license plates and how to get your own Watch for Wildlife plate please visit www.oregon.gov/odot/dmv.
Wildlife move throughout their habitat for food, shelter, and to find mates. The roads and highways crisscrossing Oregon make that a dangerous and sometimes fatal journey. Proceeds from the sale of this license plate are dedicated to projects that provide safe passage to wildlife of all kinds throughout Oregon.
This plate features an icon of the American west, mule deer, and Mt. Hood which has become synonymous with Oregon itself. A species already in decline, mule deer are further threatened by collisions with cars and trucks on busy Highway 97 as they migrate to and from their winter range in central Oregon.
Thank you to our voucher purchasers, who helped put this plate into production. You have been so wonderfully patient as this program rolls out and we appreciate the kind words and feedback. Don’t hesitate to contact us regarding your voucher questions and please check your voucher before going to the DMV.
Since the plate's release on May 4, we have had hundreds of vouchers redeemed for the new plates. If you are a voucher holder and have not redeemed your voucher yet, we have listed a few tips to make your trip to the DMV more successful below. We have heard that there have been long waits at some DMVs, and in some cases, technical glitches in the system, which we have been told by DMV, has been resolved. Be sure to check the DMV website before your visit to gather needed information ahead of time.
Before taking your voucher to the DMV please read the following
Wednesdays tend to be busier than other days at DMVs because of limited hours, so you may want to choose a different day to go. A small number of vouchers were sent out with missing signatures or misprinted numbers, when we caught this, we mailed correct copies to those affected by the error in 2021, however, some were not received or delivered by USPS.
You can get your plates through the mail if your mail in the voucher and paperwork, including a check for the remaining fees. Here is the telephone number for DMV customer service, 503-945-5000. They will provide an estimate of the cost associated with getting your plates. Visit dmv2u.oregon.gov/eServices/_/ for more information.
Check your voucher before going to the DMV!
1. Voucher number
On the top right-hand corner, there is a D followed by a 4-digit number, for example, D1234. If this is not complete, the DMV will not accept it. If this D followed by a 4-digit number is not on your voucher let us know and we will send you the correct voucher. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 503-255-6059.
Your voucher should be signed. It will have 1 or 2 signatures, depending on the version. If it’s a color version (original) it should be signed in the “Signature of organization representative” section; if it’s a copy, it will have a signature and date at the bottom as well. If the signature(s) is missing let us know and we will send you the signed voucher.
If you are unsure if your voucher has all of this information, feel free to contact us at 503-255-6059 or email email@example.com. You may send us a picture of your voucher as well. We want to ensure that your voucher is valid and if it’s not, we can send you the correct copy through the mail or email (it will need to be printed out to use).
What to expect at the DMV
Oregon Wildlife Foundation does not have control over how or where certain plate numbers are distributed. Now that the voucher sale process is over, Oregon Wildlife Foundation will not be involved in the voucher-plate transaction, this is between the voucher holder and the DMV. As with any other official license plate issued by the state of Oregon, the DMV has whole control over where and how many plates are distributed to certain DMV locations.
We have been told by the DMV that your wait time at a DMV does not equate to the plate number that will be given to you at the time of your voucher redemption. Plates produced by DMV are packed into boxes and randomly distributed across the state. At the time of voucher redemption, a DMV associate will pull a plate at random from whatever box of plates was distributed to that location. You may receive a plate number with a zero in front, you may receive a plate number with another number in front.
Unless you were a VIP auction winner of plates #1-#20, your plate will be pulled at random. (Recap of the VIP auction below.)
If you purchased a voucher from us within the last few years, you will have received recurring email communications regarding license plate release updates, including reminders about how the voucher redemption process works. Here is a reminder of Oregon's specialty license plate process which was on the acknowledgement form you signed when purchasing your voucher:
Your purchase of this voucher is a transaction between you and the organization. For a proposed special registration plate to qualify for production, the organization must sell at least 3,000 vouchers and submit them to DMV with payment. This proposed special registration plate is not available for purchase from Driver and Motor Vehicle Services (DMV) at this time. If your voucher is lost, stolen or damaged, you must contact the organization for a replacement.
Vouchers will be mailed in batches of 500.
Your purchase of this voucher is at your own risk and does not guarantee you will receive a special registration plate.
If for any reason the proposed special registration plate does not qualify for production, it is the responsibility of the organization - not DMV - to refund your money.
If the proposed special registration plate qualifies for production, the organization will notify you when you may redeem your voucher with DMV. See DMV's website at odot.state.or.us/forms/dmv/7410.pdf regarding how to obtain special registration plates and to full see the process Oregon Wildlife Foundation went through to create this specialty license plate.
The Foundation will only share the information below with Oregon's DMV as required for processing the license vouchers.
The voucher process to-date
As a voucher holder, you are one step ahead of the plate purchasing process. Your voucher pledged your support of the Watch for Wildlife license plate and paid the $40 license plate fee. Now that plates have been created and are available, your voucher is a receipt of this purchase. Other DMV fees will be assessed when the voucher is redeemed.
After 3,000 vouchers were sold in 2021, Oregon Wildlife Foundation followed the steps in Oregon DMV's specialty license plate process (find the full description here) and sent the DMV copies of all vouchers as proof required by the DMV. Oregon Wildlife Foundation has no control over license plate distribution, except the 20 from the VIP sale list including knowledge of where specific plate numbers will be held.
The only plate numbers the Foundation had control over were the 20 from the VIP sale list, which the DMV offers to any organization producing a specialty plate. Like other nonprofits who have created a specialty plate, the Foundation decided to utilize those low plates #1-#20 as a fundraising opportunity. In February 2022, Oregon Wildlife Foundation held an online public auction for those low plate numbers which produced additional dollars towards conservation. The Watch for Wildlife license plate sale and renewals are also delivered back to Oregon Wildlife Foundation to be put towards wildlife conservation.
Read more about this in the FAQ section below.