MASON CITY — Those new “Blackout” license plates are so popular in Cerro Gordo County that the county treasurer’s office is not able to keep up with the demand.

The Iowa Department of Transportation started offering specialty “blackout” plates in July, with about 9000 being sold in the first two months. The DOT started offering generic versions of the plates statewide at the end of last week.

Cerro Gordo County Treasurer Patricia Wright says their original inventory of 100 generic plates was received last Friday, and by Wednesday, they needed to place another order of 100 plates with the DOT. Wright says they’ll continue to monitor the inventory and let the public know when they have the generic “blackout” plates once again available in their office. 

The Iowa Legislature earlier this year passed a bill creating the new “blackout” plate, which is all black with white lettering. Lawmakers found that people were ordering personalized Dordt College license plates that featured the black with white letters and then covering the Dordt references.

The generic “blackout” plates cost $35 and people have to then pay an additional $10 a year to keep the plate. Specialized plates cost $60 with an annual $15 yearly fee.