Virginia drivers could have the option of a new specialty license plate on their cars next year if approved during the 2011 session of the General Assembly — the "In God We Trust" plate (depicted below). Senator Mark Obenshain (R-26, Harrisonburg) and Delegate Dickie Bell (R-26, Staunton) are the patrons of the legislation that would create the plates. Because the General Assembly requires at least 350 pre-filed applications to be on hand for the legislation to be approved, anyone who is interested in obtaining these plates should file their applications as soon as possible (click here to download an application form). A $10 check must be included with the application (the address is provided on the form). If the plate does not get approved, the money will be refunded.
Although "In God We Trust" became the official motto of the United States in 1956, it first appeared on U.S. coins in 1864, during the Civil War, and continues to appear on both coins as well as paper currency to this day. However, the words first took root much earlier, when Francis Scott Key included them in the fourth stanza of "The Star Spangled Banner," which he penned in 1814 during the War of 1812.
At least nine states already have approved similar "In God We Trust" license plates, including Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Tennessee. In addition, eight states have plates that include a reference to God, such as "God Bless America" and "One Nation under God."