States use license place renewal revenue to fund a variety of programs, from police to road construction. Some states require renewals every other year, while others require less frequent renewals. Some states include license plate renewal fees with the cost of vehicle registration.
In Washington State, license plate renewal fees fund the state patrol, among other things. In neighboring Oregon, the fees fund road repair and improvement.
However, Oregon also offers various specialty license plates that cost more money and benefit a number of programs and organizations. For example, a portion of the renewal fees for its Pacific Wonderland plates go to the Oregon State Capitol Foundation and the Oregon Historical Society. A share of its special Salmon plate renewal fees are divided between the Governor's Watershed Enhancement Board to improve the salmon habitat and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. Renewal fees for the state's Cultural plates help the arts, with a portion going to the state's Trust for Cultural Development.
Further south, California offers a Whale Tail license plate sponsored by the California Coastal Commission. Renewal fees for these plates fund events in which volunteers and CCC staff gather to clean various beaches and the state's year-round Adopt-A-Beach program.