OAKLAND CITY, Ind. (WEHT)- Some say that specialty license plates are a great way to add a personal touch to your vehicle. In fact, the University of Evansville and the University of Southern Indiana each have their own plates to show school pride. But not all educational institutions are eligible.

“We were denied the license plate which was surprising to be honest with you,” says Todd Mosby, the Associate Vice President for Development, Marketing, and Communications at OCU.

Educators at Oakland City University say they are disappointed after state lawmakers denied their specialty license plate request.

“There are 30 some universities that have license plates. We felt that Oakland City University should be one of those that have a license plate. It all came about because of going to a license branch to renew a plate. I looked for our particular plate and found out we did not have one,” Mosby says.

The university began the application earlier this year. In order to be considered, the university had to gather hundreds of signatures and fill out paperwork. Educators went to Indianapolis and submitted the paperwork in March.

“We thought this was going to be something we could promote and our alumni would benefit from it,” Mosby says.

In order to be approved, it must pass the Interim Study Committee on Roads and Transportation. There is over a dozen legislators on the community. Seven of them voted yes, including State Senator Mark Messmer of Jasper. The university says six lawmakers voted no, including State Senator J-D Ford. OCU reached out to him to ask why. He responded with a statement saying he “saw it more as a regional concept rather than a statewide impact.”

“They felt like we were a regional entity, opposed to a statewide entity. And so I asked the question ‘if that is the case, then why would you provide the University of Evansville and the University of Southern Indiana license plates?'”, Mosby says.

If the application would have been approved, OCU says the money from the specialty plates purchased would have gone back to the school.

Eyewitness News has reached out to the lawmakers who voted on the application. We have not heard back.