Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a bill Saturday that allows motorcyclists to buy a special Illinois Route 66 license plate that benefits the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway fund.
Rauner signed the bill at the historic Mahan service station at Fulgenzi’s Pizza and Pasta on Route 66 in Springfield, Illinois. Fulgenzi’s purchased and moved the gas station to the restaurant when all the memorabilia from Shea’s Gas Station Museum in Springfield was auctioned earlier this year after longtime owner Bill Shea’s death.
The Mahan gas station dates to the 1920s in Middletown, Illinois, until Shea bought and moved it to his museum about 15 years ago.
Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway executive director Bill Kelly and state Rep. Tim Butler (R-Springfield), the sponsor of the bill, attended the bill-signing ceremony.
According to the bill’s final version:
An applicant for the special plate shall be charged a $40 fee for original issuance in addition to the appropriate registration fee. Of this fee, $25 shall be deposited into the Illinois Route 66 Heritage Project Fund and $15 shall be deposited into the Secretary of State Special License Plate Fund, to be used by the Secretary to help defray the administrative processing costs.
For each registration renewal period, a $27 fee, in addition to the appropriate registration fee, shall be charged.
Of this fee, $25 shall be deposited into the Illinois Route 66 Heritage Project Fund and $2 shall be deposited into the Secretary of State Special License Plate Fund.
According to WRSP-TV:
The governor says the specialty plate helps preserve and promote the mother road, which attracts thousands of people to Illinois every year and helps generate millions of dollars.
“This is a tourist hub. It creates jobs. At every level of our economy it creates jobs. Entry level jobs, mid-level jobs, top-end jobs. It creates businesses. Tourism drives economic prosperity and Route 66 can help drive tourism to a great new level,” Rauner said.
Cheryl Eichar Jett took this video of the governor’s comments before the signing:
Illinois already had special Route 66 license plates (seen here) for regular vehicles but didn’t have one for motorcycles.
I saw no mockup for the Illinois Route 66 motorcycle plate. Perhaps they will resemble the four-wheel plates. But I could see the state decide to issue a unique design for motorcycles, as well.
UPDATE 8/26/2016: You now can sign up in advance for the motorcycle plates here.
(Image from the bill-signing ceremony by Fulgenzi’s Pizza and Pasta via Facebook)