The first day of Washington State’s 2023 legislative session began on Tuesday, January 10th, and Senator John Lovick wasted no time filing the State Sport special license plate bill on Wednesday, January 11th. The State Sport license plate bill recognizes the state sport of pickleball and is named Senate Bill 5333. Information about SB 5333, including status updates and the full text of the bill, is available on the Washington State Legislature website at leg.wa.gov. Proceeds from license plate sales will be used for the construction and maintenance of dedicated pickleball courts throughout Washington.
In March 2022, pickleball was officially designated the State Sport of Washington. Not long after, the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association (SMPA) decided that our State Sport deserves a state license plate and became the bill’s non-profit sponsor. After Senator Lovick gave his support as the bill’s legislative sponsor, SMPA began the process of collecting the necessary documents and signatures required by the Department of Licensing. The official signature launch began in September at Mariners Pickleball Night. With the help of volunteers and clubs throughout Washington, 3,855 signatures were obtained by December.
SMPA enlisted the help of four designers, and a poll let the public choose a favorite from eight designs. With over 50% of the vote, Pickleball Rising was the clear favorite. SMPA must still obtain Department of Licensing approval of the proposed plate, which must pass certain specifications.
The Pickleball State Sport license plate was designed by Jason Laramie of Laramie Studio in Seattle. His design was inspired by the ferry ride from Bainbridge Island, the birthplace of pickleball. The view is towards the east, where a pickleball rises like the sun over Washington State. The pickleball paddles at left are based on the commemorative OneShot paddles signed at the bill signing ceremony on Bainbridge Island.
If the bill passes during the 2023 legislative session, State Sport license plates will be available near the end of the year. The approximate cost of the pickleball license plate is $157.25 for passenger vehicle, with a $30 annual renewal fee. The display of Pickleball State Sport license plates throughout the state will be a great way to help grow the sport and attract the attention needed to build more pickleball facilities in your community and throughout Washington.