Georgia License Plates Will No Longer Have ‘In God We Trust’ on Them June 29, 2011

Georgia License Plates Will No Longer Have ‘In God We Trust’ on Them

Church and State will remain separate on Georgia’s license plates thanks to all of you.

Earlier this week, I mentioned that Georgia was having an online vote to decide it’s new license plate. And three of the eight entries had “In God We Trust” printed on them. Like this one:

Well, there were enough complaints for the state to *ahem* clarify their policy.

Georgia residents who expressed concern this week about a proposed Georgia license plate that includes the phrase “In God We Trust,” can rest easy. The phrase is printed on a sticker that must be purchased for $1, reports Atlanta Business Chronicle broadcast partner WXIA-TV. The station reported early Tuesday people had contacted the station bothered by the tag, saying it did not do enough to separate church and state.

The sticker is optional and you’ll have to pay for it. Perfect. Now, it’s no different from a bumper sticker. (Though I don’t know why the government is selling the sticker in the first place… unless they’re also selling other stickers to put on your plate… that’s a separate issue.)

The voting website still shows three plates with IGWT on them. (And I still suggest voting for Tag Id 4 because it looks like a horse’s ass.) There’s also no indication on the site that the phrase would have to be purchased separately as a sticker.

But still, for now, the victory is ours!

(Thanks to ThreeT for the link)

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  • Bryan Johnson

    This is bad, but Indiana actually HAS official license plates with In God We Trust on them. Now, the plates are optional (you can buy a different design w/o the IGWT moniker), but they’re still an official, government sanctioned plate. And they seem to be more common than the standard ones, though I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

  • Don Rose

    It’s good that the message is not mandatory, but it’s still bad that it’s an option.

  • It’s sad how, reading stuff like this, I sometimes catch myself feeling lucky about living in Italy. I feel for US citizens. Keep up the good work.

  • Florida also has the official license plates with the phrase on it. When I got my Florida plates it was one of 3 choices at no extra cost.

  • That’s a relief. I posted on facebook to pass around the word, but honestly I really didn’t trust our (Georgia’s) elected officials to acknowledtge that everyone in their state doesn’t necessarily “trust” in any imaginary beings. *phew* I mean seriously – who can forget Sonny Perdue’s rain dance?

  • Sinfanti

    So if they allow a sticker to be put on with IGWT, does that mean that people could legally put a different sticker in that same location? If someone made their own sticker of the same size and font replacing “God” with “Reason”, “Yahweh” or “Allah” could that get them a ticket for defacing a government-issued plate? Offering the IGWT sticker (at a price) is a step in the right direction, but it is still preferential treatment for one religious group.

  • Matto the Hun

    As a resident of GA, I am very relieved. It is puzzling why a sticker for god-botherers is offered at all. (Can’t they just get a fucking bumper sticker on their own? And let’s face it… chances are they already have)

    I am glad they are being charged a dollar offer an option that is exclusive to them. Hopefully GA revenue gets a little bit of money off of that For such small stickers, I would think they should.

  • Alan

    Does GA have a sticker “Good Without God”, or “In Allah We Trust”?

  • Jonas

    I imagine that since the sticker is from the state, that makes it’s placement on the license plate itself legal. — A random group can’t then create a random sticker, which goes on the plate itself.

    The State of Mass has all kinds of specialty plates you can get at extra cost. — Fenway Park, Red Sock, Save the Whales etc. Including a Pro-Life plate in which some of the money goes to pro-life causes. … The don’t have a pro-choice plate to counter it.

  • Matto the Hun

    Does GA have a sticker “Good Without God”, or “In Allah We Trust”?

    Fuck it, let’s just make our own.

    also, “in Satan we trust” would be a fun option.

    All this assumes we don’t like our cars I’m sure.

  • Hypatia’s Daughter

    Another Georgian, here. I like the plate we have now.The new designs all stink, but I voted for a non-IGWT version (before I knew it was a sticker).
    Unfortunately, IGWT is the official USA motto, so the godbots can merely claim that using it is patriotic, not religious, in intent. One reason you have to fight even the small battles. Congress wussed out and made this the motto in 1956, because voting against it would make them look bad to their constituents. Now, it is the camel’s nose in the tent, as the godbots use it as one proof we are a “xtian nation”.
    But I was wondering what would happen if I pasted a sticker over god (like changed it to “dog” or “reason”) – would I face some legal consequences for defacing a tag?

  • Hypatia’s Daughter

    Most states let groups create specialty plates, but they usually have to put up some bond & get a minimum number of signatures for the state to approve it. The government wants to make sure there is enough potential sales to make it not a money loser.
    So, if a pro-choice group can meet the requirements, they could get a plate. If they were refused, I suspect that would be a case of discrimination, especially as an anti-choice group has one already.

  • Sandiseattle
  • mark

    I like the idea of selling the stickers. Only I think they should charge $1000 for them. It’s a good stupidity tax.

    I’m no where near Georgia and have no intention of ever going there but I voted for the Ishihara looking one anyway.

  • J Cole

    This is nothing new, the In God We Trust has been an optional addition to the GA license plate forever. But the one that people say looks like a horses ass actually looks like a persons ass (as it is peach colored since it’s supposed to be a peach) with a leaf sitcking out of the but crack, and it is by far my favorite.

  • Michael

    I don’t have a problem with the state making money off of people’s stupid pride in their belief. Good idea about the tax, mark!

    A part of me celebrates the fact those stupid stickers are somehow valued in their belief/moral paradigms. You might as well squirt ketchup on your car and tell yourself the tomato magic will make the world a better place.

    The state selling religious tokens is ok as is. It is a dangerous path to move toward, though. Any problems or abuses could result in more money and attention given toward the churchgoers than is being taken in.

  • Richard P.

    Government cashing in on the mass delusion, really can you blame them? I don’t think this is any worse than casinos or lotteries.

    I fully support fund raising in this manner.

  • Richard Wade

    Does the state of Georgia also offer stickers for our original national motto, “E Pluribus Unum,” “Out of many, one”? I always liked that. “In God We Trust” didn’t replace the original motto in the early 1950’s, it was just added as another motto.

    It seems only right that if the state is printing and selling the alternate motto, they ought to be printing and offering the original motto too.

    I’d pay a buck to put E Pluribus Unum on my plate, just to show that I specifically chose it over the God one.

  • atlantan

    The location on the plate where IGWT appears in the pics is usually where the county sticker is pasted (at least in GA license plates). See the plate that says “FULTON” in the DOR website. Even if you stop thinking about the church-state stuff for a second, the license plate designs just don’t make any sense.

    GA politicians are the dumbest of the lot!!!

  • Jessica

    Okay so now we just need to convince Kansas *sigh* if only if only

  • The sticker is as good as the message being printed directly onto the plates. They probably won’t allow any other stickers there. It’s essentially an IGWT license plate.

    Victory? I don’t think so.

  • I’m with Joe Zamecki on this. As long as IGWT stickers are made available by a government agency to be placed on a license plate, there’s no real victory.
    These assholes just did another end run around the Constitution and got away with it.

  • Chris

    I get that you don’t want IGWT on the tags, but asking people to vote for the ugliest one is immature and ridiculous.

    I live in this state, and I have to live the repercussions of your frat boy antics.

    When people talk about atheists in this state, I don’t want them to say “Yeah, they’re a bunch of assholes who made us get these ugly plates”.

    Think twice next time before acting like a ten year old, okay?

  • DBro

    To be fair, there’s no real “victory” to claim here, I don’t know why you are.

    The plate design was always an IGWT sticker over the county designation, it even said so in the plate design submission rules. They just clarified that this was the case, they didn’t change it because of complaining secularists.

  • Ruf

    also, “in Satan we trust” would be a fun option

    Ooo, ooo, can I have a sticker that says:
    “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn”
    on mine instead? You might have to make the font a bit smaller to fit it all in though.

    Incidentally, how kosher is it legally to be obscuring bits of your number plate with stickers in the US? In the UK you’d potentially be looking at a ticket and a fine not exceeding £1,000 (although more likely £30, you’ve got to have done something pathalogically stupid repeatedly to get a maximum penalty for anything in the UK)

  • Mike D

    I’m not entirely sure what the “victory” is; the IGWT was ALWAYS a sticker that had to be purchased, just like the county names.

  • Peter Mahoney

    Unless they are offering an option with a sticker that says “In NO god we trust”, then the state/government is taking sides in the issue of whether such a god exists and whether he/she/it should be trusted.

  • mox

    How is this a victory?

    What’s the difference between a government selling license plates with “In God We Trust” and a government selling stickers with “In God We Trust”?

    No. This is not a victory. This is a classic “slippery slope.” Down the road they’ll be able to argue that “In God We Trust” has always been available as a sticker, printing them on a license plate just removes the middle man.”

  • As a Georgian, I’d kindly request you do not vote for plate #4. Because… well, it looks like a horse’s ass.

  • Jonathan

    Just across the border here, we Floridians have “In God We Trust” stamped into the plates just like the numbers. Ain’t that some shit?

  • frizzlefrazzle

    Shouldn’t one of these options have a picture of a Waffle House?

    Suck it, Chris, I went with #4. 😉

    (Seriously, I did – but I don’t live in GA anymore, so except for the few times I go back every year, this has no effect on me. Or, would that be affect. I hate those two words).

  • alex

    Oh, come on. License plates don’t need to be pretty. They need to be readable. #4 is the most readable of them, IMO.

  • Id rather have in god we trust than the county name…which is what the 1$ option is for…if you have an out of county license plate youre way more likely to be stopped and ticketed…

  • JenniferT

    If I lived in Georgia, I’d want one with a sticker that says “I HATE FREAKIN’ PEACHES!”.

  • atlantan

    Hemant, People are barking at the wrong tree here.

    As commenters DBro, Mike D and Stephen point out, the “IGWT” was never a part of the license plate. It seems there is a law that says that instead of the county sticker in the bottom of the license plate, state law allows you to put a IGWT sticker. This law dates back to the year 2010.

    And yea, scratch my previous comment on county stickers.

  • atlantan

    Section 2.1(b)

    The department shall make available to all license plates recipients a decal with the same dimensions as the county name decal that contains the words, ‘In God We Trust.’ The department shall charge any person requesting such decal no more than the cost to the department for the manufacture and distribution of such decal. Such decal may be displayed in the space reserved for the county name decal in lieu of the county name decal.

  • Kelli Wilson

    I’m lucky to live in New Hampshire, where our plates say, “Live Free or Die.”

  • Lee Davis

    Ok, here’s the scoop on that whole “In God We Trust” license plate thing. As I understand it, none of the plate designs will have the words “In God We Trust” printed on them. But that’s not the end of the story.

    Under the law, most Georgia license plates have to have a county sticker placed on them:

    “It shall be unlawful and punishable as for a misdemeanor to operate any vehicle required to be registered in the State of Georgia without a valid county decal designating the county where the vehicle was last registered, unless such operation is otherwise permitted under this chapter. Any person convicted of such offense shall be punished by a fine of $25.00 for a first offense and $100.00 for a second or subsequent such offense. However, a county name decal shall not be required if there is no space provided for a county name decal on the current license plate.”

    So says Code Section 40-2-8(c). The plates with no sticker space on them are extra-cost prestige plates, many of which commemorate various colleges and universities. Otherwise, you have to have a sticker designating your county of residence.

    With one exception:

    “The department shall make available to all license plates recipients a decal with the same dimensions as the county name decal that contains the words, “In God We Trust.” The department shall charge any person requesting such decal no more than the cost to the department for the manufacture and distribution of such decal. Such decal may be displayed in the space reserved for the county name decal in lieu of the county name decal.”

    So says Code Section 40-2-9(b). It costs only one dollar, folks, but if you really don’t want to display the county on your proletarian regular license plate, you have but one lawful alternative: display “In God We Trust.”

    Now, I don’t know why it’s so important to the state of Georgia that we display our county of residence anyway. Maybe it’s to root out tax cheats who fake residence in counties with lower millage rates. But if it’s necessary to keep track of that county thing, it’s necessary. If it isn’t, it isn’t. It’s hard to see why the religious should be exempted from the requirement but we aren’t.

    Basically, it’s still a crock. 🙁

  • CKAinRedStateUSA

    “But still, for now, the victory is ours!”

    Enjoy your false sense of pride while you can, because comes the day, unless you stop hating the Almighty, when victory will be spelled “eternal defeat and suffering.”

    Happy 4th of July, if you deign to to embrace that.

  • Michele Barton

    God is not an imaginary being, He is real. Look around you, He made the sun, grass, trees, and the flowers. God made the earth that you call home. He gives you the breath that you breathe. I will honestly say that I believe in God and that He is real.

  • Lovingmylord

    Why would you want a sticker that says good without God or in satan we trust?

  • Michele Barton

    As a christian I will tell God does exists and He should be trusted. One day you will find out that God is for real when you die.

  • And when did you die to find that out ?

  • Demotest

    The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species. 
    That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.  -CH

  • Jesus Lucifer Claus

    to upset people with imaginary friends 

  • Jesus Lucifer Claus

    soon FL will ease into the Atlantic like an old man in a bathtub.

  • Jesus Lucifer Claus


  • Jesus Lucifer Claus

    but they are not making any additional money off of it.  I would not be surprised if there is a net loos over this.  They are doing it as a favor to everyone.  Because in their eyes, everyone believes in god right?  The governor of Texas, who, when asked if the Bible should also be taught in Spanish, replied that ‘if English was good enough for Jesus, then it’s good enough for me.

  • Me

    If I didn’t trust in God then I would just get a county sticker.   If I didn’t trust in God then I might as well trust in the county I lived in because without God your trust is in vain.

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