Summaries of Current Special License Plate Laws
Georgia: Plates bearing a special series of numbers or letters may be issued in limited circumstances. (Georgia Code §40-2-136)
Iowa: Repealed in 1995. If a member of the household has a valid license, they were permitted to apply for special license plates, which contained a “Z” in the series of numbers. (Iowa Code §321J.4A)
Minnesota: Special plates may be issued if family member of the offender has a valid license. The plates would bear a special series of numbers. (Minnesota Statutes §§168.041 & 168.042)
Ohio: Plates on vehicles impounded for drunk driving are different from regular state plates, in red and yellow colors. Use of the plates became mandatory in 2004. (Ohio statutes §§4507.02(F)(2) and 4503.231)
Oregon: Pilot program ended 12/31/94. A special sticker was placed on vehicle license plates at the time of the offense to indicate that the operator of the vehicle was charged or convicted on drunk driving charges. (Oregon Code following §809.110)
Summaries of Special License Legislation Introduced in 2012
Iowa IA H 158 – Sponsored by Representative Jeff Kaufmann (R)
Requires the department of transportation to design and issue restricted driver motor vehicle registration plates, which shall be of a different color than regular registration plates and bear a unique set of alphanumeric characters so as to be readily identifiable by peace officers, provides that any motor vehicle owner may apply to the county treasurer for restricted driver registration plates to be issued in exchange for the regular or special registration plates currently issued for the vehicle.
Last Action: Failed–Adjourned. In House Transportation Committee.
New York NY A 545 – Sponsored by Representative Jeffrey Dinowitz (D)
Requires persistent alcohol offenders to use distinctive registration plates for such offenders issued by the commissioner of motor vehicles.
Last Action: To Assembly Committee on Transportation.
Washington WA H 1955 – Sponsored by Representative Norma Smith (R) Requires the issuance and installation of alternative license plates for persons convicted of certain DUI-related offenses.
Last Action: By Order of Resolution – Reintroduced and retained in present status.
Summaries of Special License Legislation Introduced in 2011
Washington HB 1955: Sponsored by Representative Norma Smith (R) Requires the issuance and installation of alternative license plates for persons convicted of certain DUI-related offenses.
Last Action: To house Committee on the Judiciary.
South Dakota SB 116: Sponsored by Senator Stanford Adelstein (R) Provides for the confiscation of motor vehicle license plates for certain driving under the influence violations.
Last Action: Failed – Adjourned. Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee.
Maryland HB 657: Sponsored by Delegate Marvin Holmes (D) Authorizing a court to require a person who has been convicted of drunk or drugged driving offenses three or more times to comply with requirements relating to the issuance of distinctive yellow “DUI” registration plates; requiring the court to state specified facts on the record, provide notice to the Motor Vehicle Administration, and direct the Administration to take specified actions; requiring the Administration, under specified circumstances, to issue DUI license plates to identify a vehicle owned by a specified individual; etc.
Last Action: Failed Unfavorable Report by Judiciary.
Summaries of Special License Legislation Introduced in 2010
Tennessee SB 2032: Sponsored by Senator Dewayne Bunch (R) Relates to DUI and DWI offenses, requires person convicted of DUI to obtain a special DUI OFFENDER license plate from Department of Revenue for display on the person’s vehicle for a year plus any period of time the person has a restricted license. Last Action: Failed-Adjourned. Referred to Senate committee on the Judiciary.
Summaries of Special License Legislation Introduced in 2009
Maryland HB853: Sponsored by Del. Marvin E. Holmes (D) Requires the Motor Vehicle Administration to issue special license plates to identify a vehicle that is owned by an individual who has been convicted of specified drunk or drugged driving offenses three or more times; requires the special registration plates to be distinctive and to include the letters “DUI”; requires the Administration to recall the registration plates of all vehicles owned by an individual who has been convicted of specified drunk and drugged driving. Last Action: Failed. From House Committee on Judiciary: Reported unfavorably.
Louisiana HB 11: Sponsored by Representative Rickey Hardy (D) Provides for a designated driver’s license and license plate for individuals convicted of certain controlled dangerous substances violations. Last Action: Failed to pass the House.
Virginia HB 128: Sponsored by Del. Lionell Spruill (D) Requires any person convicted a third or subsequent time of a drunk driving violation who has a motor vehicle registered in his name in the Commonwealth shall display, on any and all such registered motor vehicles, license plates with red numerals and letters on a yellow background, issued by the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles. Such license plates shall be displayed for five years following the restoration of the person’s driving privilege. Last Action: Failed. Left in House Committee on Courts of Justice.
Summaries of Special License Legislation Introduced in 2008
Iowa HB 2337: Sponsored by Rep. Jeff Kaufmann (R) An Act relating to restricted driver motor vehicle registration plates to identify persons driving under a temporary restricted driver’s license following a second or subsequent revocation for operating while intoxicated and providing penalties. Last Action: In House Transportation Committee.
Maryland HB 504: Sponsored by Delegate Marvin E. Holmes (D) Requiring the Motor Vehicle Administration to issue special license plates to identify a vehicle that is owned by an individual who has been convicted of specified drunk or drugged driving offenses three or more times; requiring the special registration plates to be distinctive and to include the letters “DUI”; requiring the Administration to recall the registration plates of all vehicles owned by an individual who has been convicted of specified drunk and drugged driving offenses three or more times; etc.
Last Action: Reported from House Judiciary Committee unfavorably.
New York AB 4394/ SB 5051: Sponsored by Assembly Rules Committee Requires persons who have been convicted of an alcohol offense under the Vehicle and Traffic Law on 3 or more occasions in a 5 year period of time on 5 or more occasions in a 10 year period of time to surrender their regular registration and number plates and, in turn, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles shall issue such person distinctive license plate for persistent alcohol offenders.
Last Action: In Assembly Transportation
Virginia HB 1281: Sponsored by Delegate Lionell Spruill, Sr. (D) Requires persons convicted of drunk driving a third or subsequent time who have registered motor vehicles in Virginia to use yellow license plates with red letters and numbers for a five-year period. Last Action: In House. Continued to 2009 in Courts of Justice by voice vote
Washington SB 6402: Sponsored by Senator Mike Carrell (R) Requiring the issuance and installation of fluorescent yellow license plates for persons convicted of certain DUI-related offenses.
Last Action: From Senate Committee on Judiciary: Do pass as substituted.
Summaries of Special License Legislation Introduced in 2007
Arkansas HB 1501: Sponsored by Pam Adcock (D) Requires license plate sanctions under certain circumstances for a motor vehicle equipped with a functioning ignition interlock device, provides for the issuance of a special DWI license plate. Last Action: Died in House Committee at Sine Die adjournment.
Sources: NHTSA, 2008; NCSL, 2008. Digest of State Alcohol Highway Traffic Safety Related Legislation, US Dept. of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; and Westlaw searches.