ESHB 2050

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 of March 27, 2019

Title: An act relating to creating Washington wine special license plates.

Brief Description: Creating Washington wine special license plates.

Sponsors: House Committee on Transportation (originally sponsored by Representatives Chambers, Cody, Corry, Goehner, Springer, Schmick, Jenkin and Fey).

Brief History: Passed House: 3/13/19, 86-9.

Committee Activity: Transportation: 3/26/19.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Creates the Washington Wine special license plate displaying a landscape of Washington's wine regions.


Staff: Bryon Moore (786-7726)

Background: The Department of Licensing (DOL) issues special vehicle license plates that may be used in lieu of standard plates. A governmental or nonprofit sponsoring organization seeking to sponsor a special plate either submits an application to DOL or requests legislation to create the special plate.

Under the DOL application method, the application packet must include the design of the special license plate, proof of 3500 signatures in support of the special license plate, and a start-up fee of $6,300. For special license plates enacted by the Legislature, a sponsoring organization must submit prepayment of all start-up costs to DOL within 30 days of enactment.

The sponsoring organization seeking to sponsor the special plate is required to reimburse DOL for the costs of establishing the new special plate. If the sponsoring organization is not able to meet the prepayment requirement, revenues generated from the sale of the special license plate are first used to pay off any costs associated with establishing the new plate. The sponsoring organization must also provide a proposed license plate design to DOL. The sponsoring organization must submit an annual financial report to DOL detailing actual revenues generated from the sale of the special license plate. The reports are reviewed, approved, and presented to the Joint Transportation Committee.

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 DOL determines the start-up costs for a special license plate are paid. After that point, all remaining proceeds go to the sponsoring organization.

Summary of Bill: The bill as referred to committee not considered.

Summary of Bill (Proposed Striking Amendment): The Washington Wine special license plate is created. The net proceeds will be directed to support research and collaboration with the wine science facility at Washington State University's Tri-Cities campus, the Vineyard and Winery Technology program at Yakima Valley College, the Institute for Enology and Viticulture at Walla Walla Community College, and the Northwest Wine Academy at South Seattle College. A fee of $40 will be charged for an initial Washington Wine special license plate and $30 for an annual renewal.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Creates Committee/Commission/Task Force that includes Legislative members: No.

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

Staff Summary of Public Testimony on Proposed Striking Amendment: PRO:  This builds off the success of special wine plate in Oregon.  It has been really popular in Oregon and the Washington plate will likely plate be just as successful.  The Washington wine industry supports 26,000 jobs and an estimated $2 billion in economic benefit. This is not about promoting alcohol use and the special license plate will be themed around the wine landscape.

OTHER:  This promotes alcohol use and could have a negative impact on the youth.  The context of associating driving and drinking alcohol is a concern.  A possible alternative is recognizing vineyard country in the plate.

Persons Testifying: PRO: Representative Kelly Chambers, Prime Sponsor. OTHER: Seth Dawson, Washington Association for Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention.

Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: No one.