Cherokee Nation finally passes car tag law

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. - After years of meetings and legal wrangling, members of the Cherokee Nation will be able to buy license plates from the Cherokee Nation.

During a recent meeting the tribal council voted to pass the law after long negotiations with the state of Oklahoma.

The nation has been working with state officials for some time to make the tribal license plates a reality. Part of the agreement with the state calls for 38 percent of the revenue earned from the sale of the license plates to go to public schools within the Cherokee Nation's 14-county jurisdiction.

"That's what makes this bill unique among tribal tag laws," said David Mullon, associate general council for the tribe. "No other tribe shares revenue with local schools."

The license plates are expected to be available to all tribal members living within the nation's jurisdiction in late August 2001.

The new Cherokee Nation plates will cost $75 for a new car and rates will drop as low as $10 for cars more than 17 years old.

The tribe wants to work with the state toward an agreement to allow tribal tags to be entered into a nationwide database in the same way state car tags are registered nationally.

"The day is near when Cherokee people will be driving around the Cherokee Nation proudly identifying themselves as members of the Cherokee Nation. The council should be commended for working with the administration to make this a reality," Principal Chief Chad Smith concluded.