During the summer of 2012 staff from the California Department of Finance conducted a review of all the specialty license plates in the state. The purpose of the review was to determine whether fees collected from license plate sales are being spent in ways that comply with their authorized uses and limitations. We are pleased to report that the Department of Finance concluded that both the Coastal Commission and the Coastal Conservancy are using revenues from the Whale Tail License Plate fully in accordance with the purposes outlined in the California Vehicle Code.

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WHALE TAIL® License Plate

Save the Beach. Buy a Plate.

The WHALE TAIL® License Plate sponsored by the California Coastal Commission gives drivers a way to help protect and restore the priceless resources of California's coast and ocean. The Coastal Commission uses these funds to support many worthy coastal education efforts, including the annual Coastal Cleanup Day which each fall turns out thousands of volunteers to clean our beaches and waterways. The plate also supports the year 'round Adopt-A-Beach® program, the WHALE TAIL® Grants program (which supports marine education at the local level), our free resources for educators, the State Coastal Conservancy's beach access and habitat restoration programs, and other programs to preserve and enhance environmental resources, sponsored by the Natural Resources Agency. Visit ecoplates.com to learn more about what the WHALE TAIL® License Plate funds (and to purchase your plate!).

The Coastal Commission provides careful oversight to ensure the funds that it receives are used for the intended purposes. A portion of the first year's price goes to the DMV for administrative fees (about $18). The remainder of the first year amount and 100% of the renewal fee supports the environmental causes described above, is considered a charitable contribution, and is tax deductible to the extent permitted by law. The renewal fee is $40 annually for the sequential license plates and $78 annually for the personalized plates.

Order your WHALE TAIL® Plate today at www.ecoplates.com.

Frequently Asked Questions about the 
WHALE TAIL® Coastal Protection  License Plate

What is the WHALE TAIL® Coastal Protection License Plate?
The Coastal Protection (or "WHALE TAIL® ") Plate is an official license plate issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles for vehicles registered in California. Proceeds from the sale of these plates will benefit the California Coastal Commission’s Adopt-A-Beach® Program, Coastal Cleanup Day and other coastal protection and restoration projects throughout the state.

How do I order a WHALE TAIL® Plate?
Visit www.ecoplates.com to order your plate.

How much does the WHALE TAIL® Plate cost?
$50 over the usual registration fee, with a $40 annual renewal fee. Personalized plates are $98 for the first year, with a $78 renewal fee.

How much money will go to coastal conservation programs?
After the costs of producing the plates are met, approximately half of the funds will go towards coastal education, protection and restoration programs, and the rest will go to the California Environmental License Plate Fund, which funds environmental programs throughout the state.

Can I personalize my WHALE TAIL® Plate?
Yes. When you order your plate, you can also apply for a personalized plate. You may use a combination that is no more than seven characters, and does not already exist on any other California license plate. A new personalized plate will cost $98, with a $78 renewal fee.

How can I find out if my personalized choice is available?
You may check the current listings by calling (800) 777-0133, going in person to any DMV, or by searching the personalized plate database (On California DMV's site) to see if your choice is available!

Can I keep my current license plate number?
Unfortunately you won’t be able to keep your old plate; DMV rules don’t allow it. Your new license plate will have a number taken from the special series of numbers reserved for the WHALE TAIL® Plates. Commercial plates are also available.

If I already have a personalized plate, can I transfer the message to a WHALE TAIL® Plate?
Yes. You can convert your current personalized message to a new WHALE TAIL® License Plate for a fee of $98.

Can I give the WHALE TAIL® Plate as a gift?
Yes, simply fill in the gift information on the form, including the name and address of the recipient.

More questions?
Call 1-800-COAST-4U or email coast4u@coastal.ca.gov