By Bethany Anderson

There are many specialty license plates available in the state of Tennessee which people use them to show their support for various causes or to show their status as a veteran for example. Specialty plates cost an extra $35.00 each year in Tennessee. The money collected from the additional costs of these plates goes towards each of the causes represented on them. Each plate must have enough interest and support represented in their purchases to remain available though.
In 2016, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Tennessee lost their specialty license plates after drivers failed to purchase the required minimum number to keep the plates in circulation.
However, Senator Paul Bailey has granted MADD Tennessee another chance. If MADD can pre-sell 1000 plates before June 30, 2019, the design will be back in circulation. It is a daunting challenge, but more is at stake than just a decorative license plate.
“Our plates serve as rolling billboards to bring awareness to the issue drunk and/or drugged driving, and what better place to have a message regarding highway safety?” said Norris Skelley, MADD Tennessee State Board member. Not only do these license plates raise awareness, but the proceeds MADD receives from each plate helps fund their Victim Services Program–which provides help to those that have been affected by impaired driving–at no cost to the victims and their families. It is a critical source of funding that was lost when the plates were discontinued.
Anyone interested in pre-ordering a MADD plate should visit tnmaddplates.com and sign up. When the minimum of 1,000 pre-orders has been reached, then the $35.00 per plate will be due.
“Our plates are used to raised awareness about drunk/drugged driving, raise the necessary funding for victim services and to honor victims of impaired driving crashes, Skelley said
While there is currently no Johnson County Chapter of MADD, several locals have been working on starting one for quite some time, but have not gotten the needed support to do so.
Jeanie Linton, the mother of Jadey Dunn who was tragically killed by a drunk driver in Mountain City 20 years ago, has been trying since then to start a local chapter for Johnson County.
“We never could get the support we needed to have enough people to commit to it for MADD to let us have a chapter here,” said Linton. “I’m not ready to give up though.”
For more information regarding MADD Tennessee specialty license plates, contact Norris Skelley at norrisskelley@gmail.com or 931-261-4168.
For more information about starting a Johnson County MADD chapter, please contact the Tennessee State Office at tn.state@madd.org or 615-360-8055.