In most cases, you should renew your existing registration and wait for the new plates to become available.
New license plates are authorized by selling a minimum number of vouchers. For most plates, this means that 3,000 vouchers must be sold prior to a license plate entering production. For out-of-state universities (University of Alabama, Auburn University, University of Georgia), the pre-sale threshold is 4,000 vouchers. Organizations have up to two years to sell these vouchers.
If you purchase a voucher, it may be a year or more before the plate meets it’s sales goal and is manufactured. You should not wait to renew your registration during this time. Once a plate has met it’s sales goal and is manufactured, you will receive a letter from FLHSMV with instructions on how to exchange your current plate for your newly approved specialty license plate.