Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Transportation Committee

HB 2187

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.

Brief Description: Creating Washington state women veterans special license plates.

Sponsors: Representatives Kilduff, Mosbrucker, Morgan, Leavitt, Orwall, Callan, Dufault, Graham, Kraft, Appleton, Paul, Lovick, Chapman, Ryu, Van Werven, Barkis, Slatter, Bergquist, Griffey, Sells, Doglio and Riccelli.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Creates the Washington State Women Veterans special license plate.

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

  • Provides funds to create and implement programs to benefit women veterans.

Hearing Date: 2/6/20

Staff: Christine Thomas (786-7142).


Special License Plates.

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 of the special license plate 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, retains an amount not to exceed $12 for new plate issuance and $2 for renewal of the plate. The State Treasurer then deposits the remaining proceeds into the Motor Vehicle Account until the DOL determines that the start-up fee of $6,300 is paid. Once the start-up fee is paid, the State Treasurer credits the remaining special license plate proceeds into an account specified for the sponsoring organization.

Women Veterans.

According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, women have served in the military through all periods of United States history. Although women were not formally under military command until the early 20th century, they fought in disguise during the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, as well as acted as spies. Under formal military command, women have served in various capacities including as nurses, truck drivers, intelligence analysts, airplane mechanics, and helicopter pilots in combat zones. Women comprise 10 percent of the nation's veteran population and Washington is home to approximately 58,000 women veterans.

Summary of Bill:

The Washington State Women Veterans special license plate is created to benefit women veterans. 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 Washington State Women Veterans special license plate, and a $30 fee is charged for the renewal of the plate. Revenue from the fees collected for the special license plates will provide funds to women veterans to create and implement programs to benefit women veterans.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect on July 1, 2020.