RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — North Carolina officials announced Monday they would stop replacing older license plates because of an aluminum shortage.
The North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles was replacing all license plates that were six years or older.
But, with a “world-wide shortage of aluminum” the state is stopping the replacement program to make sure there is enough raw material for the normal production of newly issued license plates, a news release said.
Normal first-time plate production is about 400 to 500 a day, according to a news release from NCDMV officials.
But the older plate replacement program, passed into law by the General Assembly, meant an increase of about 10 times the regular production numbers, officials said.
The news release said Corrections Enterprises, which handles plate production, has enough aluminum to produce about 160,000 plates, and another shipment of the metal is expected the middle of this month.
More than 640,000 replacement plates were produced so far this year, with about another 1.4 million projected for the rest of the year.
“There is no timetable for when the issuance of the replacement plates will resume, but if the suspension continues until late this year, it is likely the rest of phase one of the replacement program will be handled in 2022,” the news release said.