- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 15, 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A Randolph County nonprofit can begin accepting applications for a specialty license plate bearing the phrase “In God we trust.”

The Division of Motor Vehicles gave preliminary approval to the Dryfork Recreation Center’s request under a 2010 law that allows nonprofits to request specialty plates.

The recreation center must collect at least 250 applicants and plate fees within six months before the state can begin production, DMV spokeswoman Natalie Holcomb told the Charleston Daily Mail (https://bit.ly/ZZ5LTi ). The full-year fee is $70.

At least 19 states have “In God we trust” plates available for motorists.

Mike Snyder of Harman proposed the plates and Delegate Denise Campbell, D-Randolph, helped him find a sponsor. Campbell unveiled a draft design of the plate on Saturday during the recreation center’s annual Autumn on the Dryfork fundraising event, The Inter-Mountain (https://bit.ly/1Dc6RJk ) reported.

The draft design features an outline of West Virginia and a waving American flag over the state on the left side of the plate. The phrase appears in capital letters at the plate’s bottom center.

Campbell said the plate isn’t an endorsement of religion. Rather, she said the phrase “In God we trust” is significant to American history.

“A lot of people who are interested in this - of course, we would be crazy to say that they are not people who are people of faith - but the important part is that our country was founded on ‘In God we trust,’” Campbell told the Daily Mail. “That was where we were wanting to come with it.”

More than 2,000 people signed Snyder’s petition supporting the specialty plate, he said.

The recreation center’s board voted unanimously in July to sponsor the plate. Phyllis Yokum, the board’s secretary, said the board members are a patriotic group who believe “In God we trust” is the foundation that the U.S. was based on.

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