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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Newest license plates for Zags

This is the proposed design for the new Gonzaga University state license plates.
 (Washington Department of Licensing / The Spokesman-Review)
This is the proposed design for the new Gonzaga University state license plates. (Washington Department of Licensing / The Spokesman-Review)
Richard Roesler Staff writer

OLYMPIA – Devoted Gonzaga fans, start your engines.

Gov. Christine Gregoire – herself a GU Law School alumna – signed into a law on Monday a bill allowing proud Bulldogs to get Gonzaga University license plates.

The plates will cost $40 more than regular plates. Once the state recoups the cost of printing them, the money will go to the school’s alumni association to help pay for scholarships.

“This is made for those of us who are Gonzaga alums,” said Gregoire, signing the bill.

The state offers 26 specialized plates, including ones for veterans, Masons, square dancers, Seattle Mariners’ fans and Eastern Washington University boosters. Washington State University plates outsell the University of Washington’s 2-to-1.

And more of the plates are on the way. On Monday, Gregoire – flanked by her dog, Franz, and handing out bone-shaped cookies to reporters – also signed into law a bill allowing “We love our pets” license plates.

At least a couple of lawmakers already are angling for the GU plates.

Rep. Janea Holmquist, R-Ephrata, already has “Gonzaga grad” stuck on her truck window. She’ll buy one of the plates and is wondering if she somehow can time her order to end up with No. 1998 – the year she graduated. Rep. Joe McDermott, D-Seattle, has similar designs on No. 89.

Unfortunately for them, the plates won’t be available until next year. Starting Jan. 2, 2006, anyone can order one of the plates at any vehicle licensing office.

And how about the governor? Will a Bulldog logo grace the First Automobile’s bumper?

“The truth of the matter is I don’t drive much anymore,” Gregoire said. Like her predecessors, she tends to travel with bodyguards in state cars driven by state troopers.

In fact, Gregoire said, she recently realized that she’d let her driver’s license expire.

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