Courtesy Mass. State Knights of Columbus
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BRAINTREE -- For years, Chris Daniel, a district deputy for the Knights of Columbus, had run into people who mentioned having seen a Knights of Columbus license plate on the vehicle of a friend or relative living in other states. Recently, Daniel decided to do something about it.
"I decided to make that my cause," Daniel told The Pilot.
The Knights of Columbus hope to make license plates bearing their coat of arms available to their members in Massachusetts, but they have a way to go before the plates can be produced.
Daniel's first step was to meet with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and learn the procedure for creating special license plates. The Registry of Motor Vehicles requires a sponsoring group to submit 750 applications, each accompanied by a $40 fee, before a special plate can go into production.
In December 2017 the Department of Transportation approved the design for a Knights of Columbus plate. Since then, Daniel has traveled to Knights of Columbus gatherings across the state to collect applications.
"When we get together for an event," he said, "I'll have people that will sit at a table and gather signatures and help explain the plate campaign."
Though the Knights have five years in which to collect the 750 signatures and deposits, Daniel selected Dec. 31, 2018 as a self-imposed deadline. At the moment, Daniel said, they have about 130 signatures.
According to the Knights, there will be a final push for signatures at their 2018 Charity Ball in October.
The plates would serve not only as a badge of recognition, but also as an ongoing means of raising funds for charity. Initially, $28 of each $40 deposit will go to the Knights of Columbus Charity Foundation, while $12 will go to the Department of Transportation to cover production costs. Once the plate is on the road, a $100 renewal fee would be required every two years, of which the Knights would receive $40. "As long as this plate is on the road and people are buying it and people are renewing their plates, the charitable foundation will receive funds," Daniel explained.
"It would mean a great deal to me," if they succeed, Daniel said. "Someday, I hope, when I drive down the highway and I see a car in front of me, or a car passing me, or in an intersection, or at a restaurant, and it has a Knights of Columbus license plate on it, it would be a great deal of satisfaction to me to know I made that happen."
The application for the special plate and further information about the campaign is available on Massachusetts Knights of Columbus website at massachusettsstatekofc.org/kofc-license-plates/.