You can well imagine people's shock and dismay when this plate came out.
And there was much gnashing and grinding of teeth, and wailing and moaning ... oh, wait, that's a different story. Sorry about that.
But as much as people really wanted to like this design, it lost about 90% of its appeal somewhere in the process between the design's victory in online voting against its rivals and production.
The original design bore the famed "Back Home Again" slogan, but somehow, someone at the BMV decided instead to put the state's web address, www.IN.gov there.
And that wasn't the half of it.
For the first time, Indiana's plates were completely FLAT, manufactured using 3M's Digital License Plate technology. Hideous numbers and letters, all the same size, looked NOTHING like what folks were used to. Even law enforcement complained.
Therefore, early on in the process, the design was changed and even the spacing of the numbers and letters was made to look more like what folks remembered from the past.
It was an improvement, but just barely.
The good news was that license branches -- of which there were fewer after Governor Mitch Daniels' minions got done revamping the BMV -- could store more plates in less space, and plates required less manpower, all of which saved the state money in the long run, I guess.
But this plate would prove to be only the first affront to Hoosiers' plate sensibilities. The ultimate assault was yet to come.
Where they're from:
2004: Daviess County
2005-07: Spencer County (The 2007 plate was, once again, my mother's; it was issued for her 2001 PT Cruiser and later transferred to her 2006 Ford Freestyle SEL when she got tired of the Cruiser costing her a small fortune in minor repairs. Oh, well, that and the air conditioning crapped out on a 95-degree day. But that's another story for another time.)
2008: Tippecanoe County (This one, for the first time, came from my younger brother, Matt, who elected to remain in Lafayette after his graduation from Purdue University a few years ago. He now makes his home there with his wife and son.)