HB 1255

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

As Passed House:

March 1, 2019

Title: An act relating to creating Patches pal special license plates.

Brief Description: Creating Patches pal special license plates.

Sponsors: Representatives Lovick, Orwall, Sells, Stanford, Dufault and Irwin.

Brief History:

Committee Activity:

Transportation: 1/31/19, 2/6/19 [DP].

Floor Activity:

Passed House: 3/1/19, 88-4.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Creates the Patches Pal special license plate.


Majority Report: Do pass. Signed by 23 members: Representatives Fey, Chair; Slatter, 2nd Vice Chair; Valdez, 2nd Vice Chair; Wylie, 1st Vice Chair; Barkis, Ranking Minority Member; Walsh, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Young, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Chambers, Dent, Doglio, Entenman, Goehner, Gregerson, Irwin, Kloba, Lovick, Orcutt, Ortiz-Self, Paul, Pellicciotti, Ramos, Riccelli and Van Werven.

Minority Report: Do not pass. Signed by 2 members: Representatives McCaslin and Shea.

Staff: Patricia Hasan (786-7292).


The Department of Licensing (DOL) issues special vehicle license plates that may be used in lieu of standard plates. An organization seeking to sponsor a special license plate must be a nonprofit organization, a professional sports franchise working in conjunction with a nonprofit organization, or a government agency. The sponsoring organization may choose one of two ways of creating a special license plate.

Application Process and Legislation. In this method, a sponsoring organization submits an application to the DOL prior to pursuing legislation. The application packet must include the design of the special license plate, proof of 3,500 signatures in support of the special license plate, and the start-up fee of $6,300. After the DOL approves the application, the sponsoring organization must pursue legislation to create the special license plate.

Legislation Without the Department of Licensing's Review. In this method, a sponsoring organization pursues legislation without applying to the DOL first. Once the bill is enacted, the sponsoring organization must provide the design and the start-up fee of $6,300 to the DOL within 30 days.

In both methods, if the sponsoring organization can prove that they are unable to provide the start-up fee up front, then revenues from the sale of the special license plate will be used to pay this fee. On an annual basis, the sponsoring organization must submit a financial report to the DOL detailing actual revenues from the sale of the special license plate. The DOL compiles these reports and presents them to the transportation committees of the Legislature.

The DOL collects special license plate fees and, for administrative expenses, deducts an amount not to exceed $12 for new plate issuance and $2 for renewal. After these expenses are paid, the State Treasurer deposits the proceeds into the Motor Vehicle Account until the DOL determines that the start-up fee for a special license plate are paid. Once the start-up fee is paid, the State Treasurer credits the remaining special license plate fee amounts into an account specified for the sponsoring organization.

Summary of Bill:

The Patches Pal special license plate is created with the purpose of supporting the Seattle Children's Hospital's "Strong Against Cancer" program. In addition to all fees and taxes required to be paid upon application for a vehicle registration, a fee of $40 is charged for the original issuance of a Patches Pal special license plate, and a $30 fee is charged for the renewal of the plate.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect on October 1, 2019.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony:

(In support) "The J.P. Patches Show" was one of the longest running children's television shows in American history. J.P. Patches and Gertrude were beloved characters to the Pacific Northwest culture and remained part of the fabric of the community for decades after the show ended. Seattle Children's Hospital and J.P. Patches have a long history together, dating back to the early 1960s. J.P. Patches and Gertrude would visit the hospital to entertain patients, families, and staff. In the 1970s, J.P. and Friends made a significant donation to the hospital, funding the "J.P. Patches Play Room."

To help commemorate and pay tribute to the legacy of J.P. Patches and Gertrude, the community has galvanized in support of the creation of a Patches Pal special license plate. Supporters of Seattle Children's Hospital have collected the necessary signatures and raised the necessary funds required in the special license plate application. Proceeds from the plates will benefit Seattle Children's Hospital's "Strong Against Cancer" program. This committee has an opportunity to further J.P. Patches and Gertrude's mission to bring healing into children's lives.

(Opposed) None.

Persons Testifying: Representative Lovick, prime sponsor; and Chris Rimple, Patches Pal Special License Plate Organizing Committee.

Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: None.