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License Plate Expiration On Change Of Ownership

Concerning license plates, and, in connection therewith, specifying that the license plates of a motor vehicle that is classified as Class C personal property expire upon the sale or transfer of the motor vehicle, authorizing the issuance of license plates in previously retired styles, and making an appropriation.
2021 Regular Session
Transportation & Motor Vehicles
Bill Summary

The act specifies that:

  • The license plates of a motor vehicle that is Class C personal property for purposes of the laws governing the levying of specific ownership tax and registration of vehicles expire upon the transfer of the owner's title or interest in the motor vehicle; except that the license plates do not expire if the motor vehicle has personalized number plates or plates with a valuable registration number that has been reserved for use under the "Laura Hershey Disability Support Act" (LHDSA);
  • If either the expired license plates are personalized license plates or the owner wishes to continue to use the same combination of letters or numbers on the owner's expired license plates that were not originally issued as personalized license plates, the owner retains the priority right to use the combination of letters or numbers displayed on the expired license plates to the extent provided for in current law and may, after surrendering the expired license plates to the department of revenue (department), apply for personalized license plates that use the combination in the manner specified in current law when registering another motor vehicle; and
  • The department shall approve any application for personalized license plates received from an individual who wishes to retain the same combination of letters or numbers displayed on the individual's expired license plates and who has surrendered the expired plates to the department unless the department determines that the combination is misleading or duplicates another registration number or that, due to evolving social mores, the combination, despite having previously been issued, carries connotations offensive to good taste or decency.

Class C personal property includes passenger cars, noncommercial light trucks, and motorcycles. The act does not apply to the transfer or assignment of an owner's interest in Class C personal property that is a horseless carriage.

The act also authorizes the department to issue license plates in the previously retired style that had white letters and numbers on a background of green mountains and a white sky to individuals who request such plates and requires the department to charge additional fees consisting of the existing personal license plate fee plus a fee of $25 for such plates. The $25 fee must be credited to the disability support fund for the purposes of the LHDSA.

For the 2021-22 state fiscal year, $598,290 is appropriated to the division of motor vehicles in the department and $256,970 of the appropriation is reappropriated to the division of correctional industries in the department of corrections to implement the act.

(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)


Became Law


Bill Text

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