Long lines at the Cherokee Nation tag office in Tahlequah

Monday, October 6th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

It's been almost two years since the Cherokee Nation opened its car tag agency. And in that short time, the tags have generated a new sense of pride not to mention lots of money for the tribe and education.

News on 6 reporter Patrina Adger has the story from Tahlequah.

For the 150,000 Cherokees who live in Oklahoma, being able to display a sign of their Native American heritage is something these folks are proud of. The clerks are staying busy, registering more than 60 people a day for Cherokee Nation tags and they're getting them cheaper than the state tags.

Depending on the age of your car, you could pay $16 less on registration fees. So, for a four-year-old vehicle, you're looking at a $75 fee with the Cherokee Nation compared to $91 with the state. Kelly Wedel bought new tags for three vehicles and says she's saved hundreds. "A lot of people in the Tulsa area are getting them more because you can get a lot better deal than you do to go to a Tulsa Tag Agency and get tags, if you're an Indian you can.”

The tags popularity has generated more than just interest, it's bringing in millions of dollars. 38% of which is distributed to Cherokee schools in the 14 tribal counties.

Tribal officials say the first fiscal year they gave $1.2-million to schools. This year they anticipate an increase of 1.8% to 1.9% to be distributed.'