The campus community at The University of New Mexico has spoken or voted – and the winner is?


The announcement of UNM’s newest license plate was made by the UNM Alumni Association during its annual tailgate celebration as part of the ‘Paint the Town Cherry’ Homecoming festivities last week.

Voters in this instance did ‘Paint the Town Cherry’ in the decision as more than 31,000 votes were logged over the course of the two-week voting period for a newly-designed license plate incorporating UNM’s new signature logo. In the end, the cherry plate came out on top decisively, 59.2 percent to 40.8 percent.

The new plate will be available to New Mexico motorists beginning in early-2020. If your vehicle is registered in New Mexico, you can apply for a UNM license plate. The annual fee is $37 initially and upon each regular registration renewal. Only one plate per qualified person / owner will be issued.

The idea started with UNM Marketing Professor John Benavidez with his suggestion on social media of a new license plate design that included the new, freshly released University of New Mexico logo. Benavidez was the chair of the Visual Identity Committee, which led the selection of the new UNM logo, launched in 2017. Since its inception, the logo has made its way onto official University letterhead, signage and merchandise. 

Any state-supported higher educational institution in New Mexico may request that the division issue a special collegiate registration plate for that institution. The plate's color and design are determined by the division in consultation with the institution. 

Local artist and UNM Communication and Marketing staff member Jon Sanchez was tasked by the Alumni Association to bring all of the ideas together. The design was refined with all Lobos in mind: students, staff, faculty, alumni and the broader Lobos fan community.

License plate details:

  • NM DOT only allows schools to have one license plate option. Current plates will be available until they are sold out.
  • You do not have to get the new plate on your car if you have any existing UNM plate—just renew your plate tags as needed.
  • The new design will be available in early 2020. There are still several steps involved including production of the plates by NM DOT.
  • A portion of the plate’s annual registration fee comes back to the University.

Download and print out Form MVD11322, Application for Collegiate Plate (All NM colleges). Take the completed form with you to the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Department when you register your vehicle beginning in early-2020.

If you have questions, contact the Alumni Relations Office at 505-277-5808.

For additional alumni information, visit UNM Alumni Association.