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Kansas changes process for manufacturing license plates

August 19, 2018

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas is changing how it manufactures license plates for the first time since the state began issuing the plates more than a century ago.

Kansas will no longer have plates embossed with raised letters and numbers printed in bulk for non-commercial traffic, the Wichita Eagle reported . Kansas, which started issuing license plates in 1913, changed its system this week to print plates on demand using a digital printing process.

The printed numbers and letters are applied to a flat sheet of aluminum and stamped out in the shape of a license plate.

“It’s very fast, compared to stamping out and embossing the whole plate,” said John Kalal, director of government products at Center Industries in Wichita. The company makes all of the state’s license plates.

Center Industries uses a digital printer that can produce 1,800 plates an hour.

“It’s a huge time-saver for us,” Kalal said.

Center Industries officials expect to produce about 1,500 plates a day for the state. New plates are only needed if residents have a new vehicle, order vanity plates or are switching plates.

“We are very, very excited about this,” said Deb Wiley, a Kansas Department of Revenue official for the division of vehicles.

The plates with raised numbers and letters will gradually filter out of use, she said.

Wiley said law enforcement officers will love the change because the plates are much cleaner and easier to read than the old ones.

The new process also will reduce “overproduction and save money for the state and taxpayers over time,” she said.

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