The University of Central Florida finally is champion among Orange County drivers, winning the specialty license plate war for the first time ever against its instate rivals University of Florida and Florida State University.

Orange County Tax Collector Scott Randolph announced Wednesday that the UCF specialty plates have been outselling UF and FSU plates the past two years in Orange County, and now, for the first time, the Knights reign supreme on the rear ends of vehicles,

There now are 6,683 active UCF plates registered to Orange County vehicles on the road, moving ahead of UF’s 6,557, and well past FSU’s 4,215, Randolph announced.

“The plate sales demonstrate what we’ve known for a long time,” Randolph stated in a news release. “Orange County is Knights Country.”

Randolph credited UCF’s redesign in 2016 and the university’s accompanying “Knight Your Ride” campaign. The football Knights’ back-to-back undefeated seasons, heading for the Jan. 1, 2019, matchup with LSU in the Playstation Fiesta Bowl, probably didn’t hurt either.

In Orange County, as recently as July 2016, UCF trailed Florida by nearly 2,500 plates, Randolph pointed out. Then, in August 2016, UCF’s redesigned black-and-gold plate was released, and the university launched its  Knight Your Ride campaign, with support from the Orange County Tax Collector’s office.

In Orange County there also are 3,708 active “Helping Sea Turtles Survive” plates, 3,356 “Endless Summer” plates, 2,299 Marine Corps plates, 2,212 Army plates, and 2,208 “Save The Manatee” plates, according to data from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Other popular plates on Orange County-registered vehicles include Florida A&M University, (1,372), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1,176), Air Force (1,173), Orlando Magic (1,168), and Navy, (1,159).

UCF’s license plate also is the best-selling speciality plate in Seminole County, followed by UF and FSU, according to FDHS&MV data.

However, UF is leading in Lake County, Army leads in Osceola County, and “Endless Summer” in Brevard County. UF also outsells UCF in each of those three counties.

Specialty license plates are authorized by Florida Statutes and range in fees from $15 to $25 which benefit the plate’s sponsoring organization. In 2018, 1,398 new UCF plates were sold in Orange County, generating more than $135,000 in revenue for programs such as scholarships for first-generation students, Randolph reported.

There are currently 126 different specialty license plates in Florida registered to more than 1.5 million vehicles. The tops statewide: University of Florida (95,468 plates), “Helping Sea Turtles Survive” (81,594), Florida State University (73,614), “Endless Summer” (73,057), and “Protect Wild Dolphins” (52,548). UCF has 22,445 plates statewide.

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