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Tybee Island Historical Society hopes to gain support for proposed lighthouse license plate

Updated: Mar. 28, 2021 at 9:41 PM EDT
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TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - Georgia residents could soon have a new specialty license plate option to choose at their County Tag Office. A local state representative and the Tybee Island Historical Society are working together on House Bill 203 that would allow the prominent Tybee Island Lighthouse to be on a Georgia license plate.

Aside from the ocean, one of the busiest tourist attractions on Tybee Island stands at 178 feet tall with a 360 degree view of the island.

“That light can be seen 24 miles at sea by the ships coming in and out on a clear night,” said Allen Lewis, Vice President and Fundraising Chairman of Tybee Island Historical Society.

Its rich history is appealing to everyone as they climb to the top or stay low and tour the grounds.

“It’s the tallest lighthouse in Georgia, it’s the second-oldest light station in the United States,” said Lewis.

He says as people travel their pride in their community would, too.

“They can show our beautiful lighthouse on their license plate whether they’re in Minnesota or California or Texas,” he said.

State Representative Jesse Petrea (R-166) says he’s excited to be the one introducing the bill.

“Georgians far and wide are going to want this tag,” he said.

But Representative Petrea says the bill won’t make it to the 2022 legislative session unless at least 1,000 $25 tags are pre-sold by December 31, 2021. If it passes, the $25 will be deducted from the $55 tag fee. If it doesn’t, the $25 fee be considered a donation to the Tybee Island Historical Society in their efforts to continue things like lighthouse preservation. You can order a tag here.

“Every year, when you renew your license tag, there will be $10 of that renewal fee which will go to the light station,” says Lewis.

“That is going to be a stream of income for this great nonprofit,” said Petrea.

You might be wondering what the license plate would look like — well that’s actually up to you.

“We need artwork for that license tag and we want you to submit your favorite artwork of the lighthouse,” said Lewis.

You can enter the Tybee Island license plate art contest here. The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, March 31.

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