(L to R) Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden display a Cherokee Nation license plate.
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Cherokee citizens across the state of Oklahoma can now buy a Cherokee Nation license plate.
The tags are on sale at any of the five Cherokee Nation tag offices, which are located in Adair, Collinsville, Jay, Sallisaw and Tahlequah.
This past August, the Cherokee Nation became the first tribe to expand its motor vehicle tags statewide under a compact with the state of Oklahoma signed by Gov. Mary Fallin. Previously, only citizens living within the tribe’s 14-county jurisdiction were eligible to buy them.
“This is a monumental achievement by the Cherokee Nation, as we are the first tribe in Oklahoma to offer automobile and recreational vehicle tags statewide, across all 77 counties. It’s a boon that will benefit our tribal citizens and is a reflection of the well-cultivated working relationship between the Cherokee tribal government and the state government,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “As a sovereign tribal nation, we expanded the rights of our citizens. Additionally, this compact will create a sustainable money flow that will benefit all people, Cherokee and non-Cherokee alike. The increased dollars that will be collected are earmarked for the development of local infrastructure, such as roads and water lines, as well as to help schools.”
About 80,000 Cherokee citizens live in Oklahoma, outside the Cherokee Nation jurisdiction. At-large Cherokee citizens living in Mayes, Muskogee, Rogers, Tulsa and Wagoner counties can now purchase a Cherokee license plate and receive the same cost savings benefits as citizens living inside the Nation’s jurisdiction. Citizens in the other counties throughout the state will receive a 10 percent discount rate when buying a Cherokee license plate compared to the cost of a state license plate.
“The statewide motor vehicle tag expansion gives the Cherokee Nation Tax Commission the opportunity to serve all our Cherokee citizens, regardless of where they live in the state,” said Cherokee Nation Tax Commission Administrator Sharon Swepston. “These Cherokee citizens now have the ability to exercise their sovereignty and proudly display their Cherokee heritage through their car tag.”
The state of Oklahoma receives a portion of the at-large motor vehicle tag sales under the new compact. The revenue from motor vehicle tags also benefits roads, schools and law enforcement within the Cherokee Nation.
In fiscal year 2013, more than $3 million was allocated to schools, $1.8 million to road projects and nearly $300,000 to help law enforcement from Cherokee Nation motor vehicle tax revenues.
“I’m planning to get one,” said Cherokee citizen Frank Muskrat of Oklahoma City. “I know quite a few in our area have been asking for this and looking forward to the opportunity, because having a Cherokee Nation car tag is a source of pride about being Cherokee.”
To buy a Cherokee Nation license plate, citizens will need to provide all necessary state required documents, their tribal citizenship card and an Oklahoma driver’s license. Citizens purchasing an at-large Cherokee motor vehicle tag do not have to show proof of address.
At-large citizens can also mail their documents to the Cherokee Nation Tax Commission, P.O. Box 948, Tahlequah, OK 74464 to purchase their motor vehicle tag.
For addresses of the Cherokee Nation tag offices visit http://www.cherokee.org/Services/TagOffice/At-LargeMotorVehicleRegistration.aspx or call the Cherokee Nation Tax Commission at 918-453-5100.
Cherokee Nation News Release
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