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The majority of Tennessee drivers who have traded in their old green license plates for the newly redesigned blue ones have chosen an edition that says “In God We Trust.”
Of the approximately 2 million new plates issued in Tennessee this year, 56% opted to display the national motto on their vehicle as of May 16, according to data from the Tennessee Department of Revenue.
The phrase has proven most popular in rural Fentress County, which is close to the Kentucky border in East Tennessee, the region where the plate proved most popular.
With the highest overall percentage in the state, 98% of the 5,863 who applied for new plates in Fentress County picked the version with the motto.
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The county with the lowest percentage of drivers who picked the motto was Nashville’s Davidson County, where only 13% of its 181,000 plates depict the words wrapping around the state’s emblem in the center.
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Many Nashville-area drivers, however, were not aware of the option to place “In God We Trust” on their license plates, according to The Tennessean.
Officials with the Davidson County Clerk’s office told the newspaper that unless a driver requests the special license plate, he will get the standard blue plate without the motto.
Shelby County Wanda Halbert, by contrast, recently told local ABC 24 that she instructed staff at all locations to inform each customer getting new plates of their options, and that the “In God We Trust” version has proven especially popular in home county of Memphis.
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“We have seen a host of customers who are interested in getting an ‘In God We Trust’ placard or one without the words ‘In God We Trust’, so internally, we’d rather notify the customers they are available,” Halbert said.