Replacing the iconic “Wave” now up to Rhode Islanders

Published on Monday, March 14, 2022

CRANSTON, R.I. – The Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles, with the help of  Governor Daniel J. McKee, on Monday, March 14, 2022 unveiled the finalists in the contest to design the state’s primary license plates.

The Division of Motor Vehicles received 940 entries during the contest that concluded Jan. 7, 2022. A team of DMV staff members has since winnowed down those entries to five designs, one of which will be chosen by the public to replace the “Wave” design that has been in use for 25 years.

The unveiling will coincide with the start of a two-week public voting period during which Rhode Islanders can pick their favorite from among the finalists.

The DMV will begin distributing the redesigned license plates later in 2022 with the start of its registration reissuance program. The new plates will be distributed according to the DMV’s vehicle registration renewal sequence.

“I know how invested Rhode Islanders are in their home state,” said Governor McKee. “When it was time to update our iconic license plate, I was glad to see hundreds of people step up and submit their creative designs. I want to thank everyone who took the time to enter the contest, and I look forward to learning which one Rhode Islanders choose.” 

DMV Administrator Walter R. “Bud” Craddock said: “I am pleased to see just how many people took the time to submit an entry. They certainly made the judging panel’s task difficult. I think the judges found five designs worthy of replacing the Wave plate, any one of which will make Rhode Islanders proud to see on their vehicles in the coming years.”

Today’s unveiling of the finalists coincides with the opening of a two-week public voting period.

Voting period begins Monday, March 14, 2022 at 1 p.m. and ends March 28, 2022 at 11:59 p.m.

 Voting must be done online at: []

Rhode Islanders are encouraged to cast ballots for their favorite design and will be allowed to vote more than once while the voting window is open.

The DMV will notify the contestant with the winning design prior to a public announcement at a later date.

All 940 entries will be made available to the public on the DMV website immediately after the winning design is announced.


Rhode Island License Plate Design 1
Rhode Island License Plate Design 2
Rhode Island License Plate Design 3
Rhode Island License Plate Design 4
Rhode Island License Plate Design 5