Elvis Presley will take to the highways in February when the new Elvis specialty license plate is expected to be ready for distribution through the Tennessee Revenue Department.
The plate was first proposed in 2005 and took two years to gather enough buyers and work its way through the state approval process as a fund-raising tool for the Regional Medical Center at Memphis and its Elvis Presley Memorial Trauma Center.
Med Foundation spokesman Michael Scruggs said about 1,160 Tennesseans ordered the specialty tags, exceeding the minimum order of 1,000 plates needed to justify production. The Med will receive about $20 of each $35 specialty license fee, while hoping to increase sales of the plate once they go on sale in February.
Revenue Department spokesman Sophie Moery said people who preordered the plates will be notified by mail when the plates are ready for distribution via county court clerks' offices in February. Until then, no more orders are being taken for the Elvis plate.
The plate features a classic Elvis pose from a photograph taken during a 1955 concert in Tampa, Fla., just before the release of his first No. 1 hit, "Heartbreak Hotel," in 1956.
The plate becomes one of more than 150 specialty plates in production in Tennessee. The most popular is a "Friends of Great Smoky Mountains" plate. The next most popular are a state-flower iris plate and a "Watchable Wildlife" plate.