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Md. lawmakers want old-school license plates

Pining for those good ol’ days when standard-issue Maryland license plates came in that stately black-on-white? Well, some lawmakers apparently are.

Four Baltimore City delegates, led by Kieffer J. Mitchell Jr., have sponsored a bill that would bring back the classic look. The only catch — drivers who want to slap the old school plates on their cars will have to shell out an extra fee to the Motor Vehicle Administration to get one.

The state began issuing the War of 1812 commemorative plates in June 2010, and will continue to do so through June 2015. The state is gearing up for the first event in its celebration of the 200th anniversary of the war this summer.

The bill would only let the MVA charge enough to cover the costs of producing the special plates.It’s not clear from the bill or legislative analysis what the fee would be, but it appears it wouldn’t amount to more than $15 or $20.

The administration assumes about 12,000 drivers will choose to take the white and black plates every year, and another 3,200 drivers will switch from the 1812 plates to the older versions in 2012. That year, they expect the program would bring in $189,400, or less than $13 per plate. Take out the drivers who switch, and it comes to about $16 per plate.