The Oregon Department of Justice has issued a cease-and-desist order to the organizer of a Kickstarter campaign to launch a new official Oregon state license plate.
Steve Barile created the Kickstarter to fund a license plate would combine both the old PDX carpet design and Terry Currier's famous "Keep Portland Weird" slogan.
The Kickstarter promised that a $50 donation would get you a prepaid certificate for the Oregon DMV specialty license plate surcharge and a 3″ x 6″ sticker of the license plate with the word "WEIRD" on it. Barile pledged to donate proceeds from the license plate to the Regional Arts & Culture Council and the Oregon Music Hall od Fame.
As of this afternoon, the Kickstarter has 92 backers who had pledged $4,657.
According to the Department of Justice, Barile did not comply with the state law when he neglected to apply for a new plate with the DMV, who provided him with information on state requirements to launch the plate months ago.
The DMV says it has not received an application from any organization to apply for a "Keep Portland Weird" plate.
According to Oregon law, the sponsor of a new special plate must qualify as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) and comply with pre-approval process steps before submitting an Application for Approval for a Special Registration Plate, submit a $5,000 pre-approval fee and have the plate design approved before pre-sale.
Barile did not take any of these steps, the DOJ says.
"Our main concern at this point is that potential backers may assume the application has been filed by a qualified non-profit organization, and that the plate design has been approved for production if the organizer meets his funding goal," DMV Administrator Tom McClellan said in a press release. "We think it may be misleading to potential backers to launch a fundraising campaign before fulfilling the application requirements."
On the Kickstarter, Barile wrote that the new plates were possible through a 2015 law, which allows the creation of additional special registration license plates in Oregon.
He wrote that the design and specs were still pending approval, and if for whatever reason, the DMV does not release the plate, Barile says he will refund your money, except for the the bank charges and postal fees, which are about $5.
Barile describes himself as a recently retired Intel engineer. "In addition to this exciting Keep Portland Weird license plate project," he says in his Kickstarter bio, "he also runs a small boutique custom LEGO compatible brick manufacturing company called altBricks, where he designs and sells bricks and sets."
Barile is currently on vacation in Mexico and could not be reached for comment.
The Kickstarter is still live.