In addition to the two standard license plates issued by the state of Tennessee, there are 192 specialty plates available to Tennessee motorists. These plates allow you to show your pride in a school, sports team or career, honor one’s military service, or support a cause that matters to you.

While it costs a little more to get a specialty plate, the state returns a portion of that extra money to the cause, school or foundation responsible for the plate. This makes specialty plates a great way to express your support for a group or issue while also contributing to the organization issuing the plate.

In 2019, Tennessee’s electric cooperatives worked with state lawmakers to introduce a specialty plate honoring Tennessee’s 3,500 electric lineworkers. We appreciate members of the Tennessee General Assembly for choosing to honor lineworkers in this way. Today, more than 5,000 Tennessee motorists have opted for the Powering Tennessee specialty plate. You do not have to be a lineworker — or even work at a utility — to have a Powering Tennessee specialty license plate.

Proceeds from the plates benefit the Tennessee Lineworker Lifeline Fund, a nonprofit foundation established to support Tennessee’s electric lineworkers and their families in the event of a serious injury or fatality while on the job. More than $250,000 has already been raised to support this important effort.

Lineworker is routinely ranked among the most dangerous jobs in America. While safety equipment and training have made the career safer over the years, it is still one in which small mistakes can produce serious consequences.

Each day, Powell Valley Electric Cooperative’s lineworkers provide a critical service to our community. Without them, our homes would be cold and dark, and everything from healthcare to education to commerce would be impacted.

The next time you renew your license plate, take a moment to consider all of the options available to you. Whether you choose the Powering Tennessee plate or something else, the specialty plate program is a fun way to support the groups and issues you care about.

— Brad Coppock