Alabama gets "Sweet" new car tags

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabamians will have a sweet new option for their car tags starting in January.

Gov. Bob Riley unveiled the design for the new "Sweet Home Alabama" license plates Tuesday.

It features a colorful beach scene and will replace the "Stars Fell on Alabama" plates that have been in use since January 2002.

Riley assigned the tourism department to design the new plate and chose it to reflect the Gulf Coast's importance to Alabama's tourism industry.

Baldwin and Mobile counties combine to generate more than 30 percent of the state's $9.8 billion tourism revenue.

Alabama tourism director Lee Sentell said the state paid $25,000 to use the Lynyrd Skynyrd song title in a marketing campaign that started last year and will soon include merchandise with the phrase.

Motorists can still choose the "God Bless America" license plate that features the American flag.

The "Sweet Home Alabama" tags will be issued for five years.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)