July 11, 2002 – Instead of just one location for people to purchase "Friends of the Park" license plates, there now are five, including outlets on St. Thomas and St. Croix.
The Friends of the V.I. National Park has been selling the plates — which are valid for use as motor vehicle tags in the territory — for nearly two years at its office in Mongoose Junction on St. John. Now it has added four new outlets — the Connections offices in Cruz Bay and Coral Bay and the Caribbean Auto Mart locations on St. Thomas and St. Croix.
Kim Lyons, Friends development director, said the not-for-profit organization has sold about a thousand plates, which feature imagery of Trunk Bay, to date. While tourists do buy them as souvenirs, she said, most sales are to local residents who put them on their vehicles in place of the government-issued gold and black tags.
Sales have been brisk to St. Thomas and St. John residents all along, because they could easily visit the Friends office, Lyons said. Now, with the plates available at the automotive dealership on St. Croix, residents on that island also will have easy access to them, she said.
Joining forces with Caribbean Auto Mart gives the Friends places on St. Thomas and St. Croix to sell the plates and gives customers an incentive to stop by the automobile dealer, she said, adding. "It's a natural place to sell them."
Plates with serial numbers (which start with the letter "P" for "Park") are $55. If you want personalized plates with up to seven numbers and/or letters, the tab runs $105. The cost is in addition to the annual registration fee which must be paid at the Motor Vehicle Bureau.
Lyons pointed out that after purchasing the plates, residents wanting to use them in lieu of government-issued tags must take them to their Motor Vehicle Bureau center to make the change from the existing tags on their vehicle.
Proceeds from the sale of the plates go to fund Friends of the V.I. National Park programs, which benefit the national park. For additional information, call Lyons at 779-4940.
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