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MTB License Plate Now Law in Idaho

A bill that would create a special license plate to fund mountain bike trails in Idaho was signed into law Tuesday.

HB 486 was signed by Gov. Butch Otter, allowing for a specialty plate aimed at creating a revenue stream for the Idaho State Parks and Recreation Department to use itself or allocate to user groups for trail creation and maintenance. The plate will be available in 2011.

Geoff Baker, a Boise resident, mountain biker and founder of the Idaho Mountain Bike Trail Preservation Association, said that as far as he is aware, the Idaho effort is the nation’s first specialty vehicle license plate dedicated to the mountain biking community.

Before the plate is made public, however, supporters must raise $5,000 in “programming” funds so the Idaho Transportation Department can create the final plate as well as promote sales of it once it is available.

On the Idaho Mountain Bike Trail Preservation Association Web site, Baker said that as of Tuesday, $1,500 must still be raised to meet the $5,000 programming goal. If the $5,000 goal is not reached, no plate will be made, Baker said.

When the license plate does make it to the public, each plate sold and renewed would initially see $22 go to the state highway fund and $15 to Idaho parks and rec for trail work. In following years, renewals will send $13 to the highway fund and $12 to parks.

The law states that the funds raised by the specialty plates can only be used on trails that are open to mountain biking but not restricted to just cycling.

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