Citizens of the Chickasaw Nation can now drive away with a piece of history on or above their bumpers.
Last year, the Nation signed a compact with Oklahoma state to sell its first tribal license plates. And on Monday, tribal members stood in line to buy them.
Elder Pauline Brown, 84, told TheAda News that she was “proud” to purchase one of the first license plates in her county. “It shows how far we have advanced [as a tribe]. Now, wherever we travel, it tells others what tribe we are. We are very proud of our tribe,” Brown said. “I put it on my car and stood there and admired it for a long time. I couldn’t believe it.”
The compact, which was signed in October 2014, requires tribal members to present their citizenship card and pay the same fees and taxes that any other Oklahoman would upfront, but then, they receive a rebate from the tribe for a percentage of the taxes and fees, the AP reported. According to the Okla. DMV, the cost to purchase a specialized license plate is $22, excluding additional fees. The Chickasaw tags are also sold exclusively at state-licensed tag agencies across Oklahoma.
At the state of the nation address in October, Chickasaw Gov. Bill Anoatubby made the announcement that the Nation would receive the new plates. He said, “These tags offer Chickasaw citizens a very visible way to demonstrate their pride in being Chickasaw, while keeping vehicle tag funding for schools, roads, state employee retirement, wildlife conservation and other state programs intact."