Effective Date of Rule: Thirty-one days after filing.
Purpose: Rule making is required to explain the issuance and restrictions of special license plates and to explain the continuing requirements for organizations to maintain the issuance of special plates - to make the language clear in both rules.
Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 308-96A-065 and 308-96A-560.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 46.01.110.
Adopted under notice filed as WSR 07-16-125 on August 1, 2007.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 2, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 2, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 2, Repealed 0.
Date Adopted: October 2, 2007.
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 01-10-069, filed 4/30/01, effective 5/31/01)
WAC 308-96A-065 Personalized license plates. (1) What is a personalized license plate? Personalized license plates are plates reflecting the registered owner's chosen format or designation and are limited to those described in RCW 46.16.560, 46.16.570 and 46.16.580.
(2) Are there any restrictions on the use of letters and numbers on personalized license plates? Personalized license plates may be issued with one to seven characters. Motorcycles and motorcycle trailers can have up to six characters. The letters "I" and "O" and the numbers "1" (one) and "0" (zero) may not be issued as single-digit plates.
(3) When may the department deny an application for or cancel personalized plates?
(a) The department may deny an application for personalized license plates or cancel personalized license plates previously issued if it determines the plate configuration to be:
(i) Offensive to good taste and decency;
(ii) Potentially misleading;
(iii) Vulgar, profane or sexually suggestive in nature;
(iv) A racial, ethnic, lifestyle or gender slur;
(v) Related to alcohol or to illegal activities or substances;
(ix) A duplication of license plate or decal numbers provided in chapter 46.09, 46.10 or 46.16 RCW; or
(x) The personalized message appears to replicate the standard configuration for a special license plate; or
(xi) Contrary to the department's mission to promote highway safety.
(b) If the personalized license plates are canceled due to one or more reasons specified in subsection (3) of this section, the vehicle owner may:
(i) Apply for a refund for the fee paid under RCW 46.16.585 and 46.16.606 for such license plates; or
(ii) Instead of a refund, apply for and upon approval be issued personalized license plates with a different configuration without payment of additional personalized license plate fees.
(c) The department may cancel personalized license plates if they are:
(i) Not renewed by the owner within forty-five days of the vehicle expiration; or
(ii) Removed from a vehicle and not transferred to a replacement vehicle within thirty days; or
(iii) Transferred to a new owner who does not make proper application for the plates within twenty-five days.
(4) What special plates cannot be personalized?
(a) Medal of honor;
(b) Horseless carriage;
(d) Collector vehicle;
(e) Ham and Mars license plates;
(f) Former prisoner of war;
(g) Pearl Harbor survivor;
(h) Disabled veteran;
(i) Exempt license plates.
(5) If my registration for personalized license plates has elapsed, how do I get them reinstated or reissued?
(a) If you are an owner of a personalized license plate and do not renew it within forty-five days, you must reapply and pay the original personalized license plate fee in order to reinstate the plate.
(b) If you purchase a vehicle with a personalized plate and do not transfer the ownership of the personalized plate within twenty-five days, you forfeit ownership of the plate. The department will make that personalized plate available to the first applicant for that plate configuration.
(c) If you are the owner of a personalized license plate
who does not transfer the plate as described in ((
(4)))(b) of this (( section)) subsection, you must reapply and
pay the original personalized license plate fee in order to
reinstate the plate.
(5))) (6) Can I transfer my personalized license plate?
Yes, if you are the owner(s) of a vehicle with personalized
license plates and sell, trade or otherwise transfer ownership
of the vehicle, you may transfer the plates to another vehicle
within thirty days; (the personalized license plates may be
transferred at any vehicle licensing office or through a
vehicle dealer if the owner wishes to transfer a plate to a
dealer-purchased vehicle) or transfer the plates to a new
owner. If the plates are transferred to a new owner, the
current owner must provide the new owner with a
notarized/certified release of interest for the plates. The
new owner must make application to the department within
twenty-five days, including payment of the original
personalized license plate fee.
(6))) (7) How do I dispose of my personalized vehicle
(a) You may turn the plates in to the department with a notarized release of interest from the owner(s) relinquishing the right to that personalized license plate configuration; or
(b) If your vehicle has personalized license plates and is sold to a wrecker or you accept a total loss claim from your insurance company and you choose not to retain the salvage, you must either transfer the plates to another vehicle within thirty days or turn the plates in to the department with a notarized release of interest from all registered owner(s) relinquishing the right to that personalized license plate.
(7))) (8) Will I ever have to replace my personalized
vehicle license plate? Yes, the personalized license plates
are subject to the seven-year vehicle license plate
[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.01.110, 46.16.335, 46.16.276. 01-10-069, § 308-96A-065, filed 4/30/01, effective 5/31/01. Statutory Authority: RCW 46.01.110 and 46.16.335. 98-09-024, § 308-96A-065, filed 4/8/98, effective 5/9/98; 91-15-006, § 308-96A-065, filed 7/8/91, effective 8/8/91. Statutory Authority: RCW 46.16.276 and 46.16.600. 88-12-043 (Order TL/RG 41), § 308-96A-065, filed 5/27/88. Statutory Authority: RCW 46.16.600, 46.16.276 and 46.01.110. 87-12-023 (Order TL/RG-34), § 308-96A-065, filed 5/28/87. Statutory Authority: RCW 46.01.110 and 46.16.600. 84-21-130 (Order TL/RG-9), § 308-96A-065, filed 10/24/84; Order MV-328, § 308-96A-065, filed 7/24/75.]
(2) What criteria are used to discontinue issuing special
vehicle)) license plates? A special license plate series
may be canceled if:
(1))) (a) The department determines that fewer than
five hundred special license plates in the approved
configuration are purchased annually and no less than one
thousand five hundred special license plates are purchased in
any continuous three-year period. (Except those license
plates issued under RCW 46.16.301, 46.16.305, and 46.16.324);
(2))) (b) If the sponsoring organization does not
submit an annual financial statement required by RCW 46.16.765
and certified by an accountant; or
(c) The legislature concurs with a recommendation from the special license plate review board to discontinue a plate series created after January 1, 2003; or
(3))) (d) The state legislature changes the law
allowing that plate series.
(3) Can an organization have more than one special plate series? No. Organizations cannot have more than one special license plate series except those issued before January 1, 2006. Those organizations that already have multiple special plate series may not have more.
An updated design of the current special license plates does not constitute more than one special plate series. The newest design supersedes the prior design.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.01.110, 46.16.135, 46.16.225, 46.16.490, 46.16.276. 04-08-079, § 308-96A-560, filed 4/6/04, effective 5/7/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 46.01.110, 46.16.335, 46.16.276. 01-10-069, § 308-96A-560, filed 4/30/01, effective 5/31/01. Statutory Authority: RCW 46.01.110 and 1997 c 291. 98-01-151, § 308-96A-560, filed 12/22/97, effective 1/22/98. Statutory Authority: RCW 46.16.301, 46.16.324 and 46.01.110. 95-11-043, § 308-96A-560, filed 5/10/95, effective 6/10/95. Statutory Authority: RCW 46.01.110. 93-14-083, § 308-96A-560, filed 6/30/93, effective 7/31/93; 91-03-091, § 308-96A-560, filed 1/18/91, effective 2/18/91.]