Get Your “Crimson to Go”
New Cougar Plates Hit the Road

For several years the Washington State University Alumni Association has had designs on a new WSU license plate. This January, plans to replace the blue, white, and Cougar logo plate with an all-crimson plate came through. Now alumni and friends can license their cars, show their affinity for WSU, and raise money for scholarships.

The first Cougar license plate was introduced in 1995 to wide appeal. About 3,000 sold in the first few months of the program. By 2000, that number had grown to well over 11,000. And today, WSU’s 13,348 plates outnumber those from all the other state colleges and universities combined.

But with only about 15 percent of all Cougars in Washington State buying the plates, the time has come for an eye-catching new approach. WSU staff members and volunteers had something very specific in mind. They took their inspiration from the WSU flag, “Ol’ Crimson,” like the one flown by WSU fans on ESPN’s College GameDay broadcast. “Since the Department of Licensing currently offers about 45 special plates, we wanted the WSU plate to stand out,” says Tim Pavish ’80, executive director of the WSU Alumni Association.

The all-crimson plate with silver/white numbers and letters and the Cougar logo needed some tweaking to meet the state requirements and get approved. But it was worth it. “No other plate on the road looks anything like it,” says Pavish. “We think Cougars will love it.”

In addition to the special WSU plate, the Department of Licensing provides personalized WSU plates. They have the same all-crimson background and the opportunity to design your own unique message. Those who currently have WSU special or WSU personalized plates can keep their same numbers or message on the new all-crimson plates.

The special plate costs an initial $40 in addition to standard license plate fees. The renewal is $30 plus fees. Personalized plates cost an additional $49.75 to purchase plus other standard license plate fees. Of the costs, $28 from each plate goes to scholarships for WSU students. Last year alumni plates raised over $350,000.

For more information about the WSU license plate program visit or your local DOL office.