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 Reported by House Committee On:


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], 1/15/20 [DPS].

Brief Summary of Substitute Bill

  • Creates the Patches Pal special license plate.

  • Establishes original and renewal fees for the special license plate.

  • Provides funds to the Seattle Children's Hospital "Strong Against Cancer" Program.


Majority Report: The substitute bill be substituted therefor and the substitute bill do pass. Signed by 30 members: Representatives Fey, Chair; Wylie, 1st Vice Chair; Slatter, 2nd Vice Chair; Valdez, 2nd Vice Chair; Barkis, Ranking Minority Member; Walsh, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Young, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Boehnke, Chambers, Chapman, Dent, Doglio, Duerr, Dufault, Entenman, Eslick, Goehner, Gregerson, Irwin, Kloba, Lovick, Mead, Orcutt, Ortiz-Self, Paul, Ramos, Riccelli, Shewmake, Van Werven and Volz.

Minority Report: Without recommendation. Signed by 1 member: Representative McCaslin.

Staff: Christine Thomas (786-7142).


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 is 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.

The J.P. Patches Show.

The J.P. Patches show was a local children's television show that ran for 23 years on a Seattle television station from 1958 to 1981. The main character was a clown named Julius Pierpont "J.P." Patches played by the show creator and Seattle children's entertainer, Chris Wedes. Bob Newman played J.P. Patches' sidekick named Gertrude. In one segment of the show, J.P. Patches announced the birthdays of selected "Patches Pals." After the show ended in 1981, Chris Wedes continued to play the character in public and private charity events, including visiting children at the Seattle Children's Hospital.


Summary of Substitute 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.

Substitute Bill Compared to Original Bill:

The underlying bill is updated with technical corrections to reflect enacted legislation in the 2019 Legislative Session. The effective date is changed from October 1, 2019, to October 1, 2020.


Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Not requested.

Effective Date of Substitute Bill: The bill takes effect on October 1, 2020.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony:

See House Bill Report in 2019 Legislative Session.

Persons Testifying: See House Bill Report in 2019 Legislative Session.

Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: See House Bill Report in 2019 Legislative Session.