IPFW license plates will no longer be available from Indiana BMV; University of Saint Francis says it’s accidentally on ‘discontinued’ list

IPFW license plates will soon be disappearing. A petition is available for those wanting to get a Purdue University Fort Wayne specialty plate through the BMV. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of News-Sentinel.com)

Another step in the transition from IPFW to Purdue University Fort Wayne is coming, care of the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

Beginning March 8, IPFW will no longer be among Special Group Recognition license plates, according to a letter issued last week by the BMV, and the option has been removed from www.in.gov/bmv. That’s understandable, considering IPFW will no longer exist on July 1. The Indiana Commission for Higher Education is expected to approve the separation of Purdue and Indiana University at the campus they’ve shared since 1964 at 2101 Coliseum Blvd. E.

Purdue University Fort Wayne will operate the campus, with Indiana University Fort Wayne leasing space in Neff Hall and the Liberal Arts building along with using its current medical school building on campus, which it owns.

Indiana BMV offers a variety of alternatives to the standard covered bridge design for Indiana car drivers who want to promote or show their interest in Colts, Environmental, Habitat for Humanity or other groups. Purdue’s other campuses are represented on the list of license plates: Purdue University for the main campus at West Lafayette, Hammond and Westville’s Purdue University Northwest and IUPUI at Indianapolis.

“We are planning to have a Purdue Fort Wayne license plate,” said Nicole Haan, a university spokeswoman.

The university is petitioning to get itself listed with BMV for the specialty plates. Anyone who wants to sign the petition can do so at the Steel Dynamics Keith E. Busse IPFW Alumni Center, 1528 E. California Road, Haan said.

According to the BMV website, it must get 500 signatures of Indiana residents who pledge to buy the plate. The petition must be received by April 1 for the plate to be offered the following registration year.

However, while Fort Wayne’s University of Saint Francis is also on the discontinued list of college and university BMV license plates, a USF spokesman said that’s a mistake.

Rob Hines, wrote in an email Friday, “At the moment, there appears to have been some miscommunication between the BMV and USF, and we’re working to clarify the situation with them and we hope that we can continue to offer the plates.”

According to BMV spokeswoman Christine Meyer, USF did not meet the required sales of 500 plates for renewal. Other colleges and groups have been dropped in the past for the same reason, or, like IPFW, because they didn’t renew their request, she said.

For many of the specialty plates, registrants pay a higher fee, with a portion going to the organization listed on the plate. Universities pledge to use the money for scholarships for Indiana residents, according to the application form on the BMV website.

Other groups no longer to be offered are Bethel College, Earlham College, Grace College & Seminary and Lincoln Boyhood Drama Association, according to the BMV letter. Those with a specialty plate that’s being discontinued don’t have to do anything until it’s time to renew their plates.