Special License Plates for Drunk Driving Offenders

Featured Items

NCSL Staff Contact

   Douglas Shinkle

Updated August 2016

Summaries of Current Special License Plate Legislation

Georgia

  • Plates bearing a special series of numbers and 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  • Repealed in 1995.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

  • If a person is convicted of an offense that makes mandatory the revocation of the person's driver's license, such as driving while impaired, the court may require the registration plates of any self-propelled motor vehicle owned by the person or registered in the person's name to be surrendered to the court.
  • Special plates may then 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)
  • 2015 MN SB 1073 - Would add participants in the ignition interlock program and certain limited licenses to the list of authorized recipients of special plates from the commissioner.

Ohio

  • Any motor vehicle owner who has had the license plates of a motor vehicle impounded because of an OVI violation may apply to the registrar of motor vehicles for restricted license plates that 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 Plate Legislation Introduced in 2016

Mississippi  

  • 2016 MS HB 548- (Failed) Legislation requiring the department of public safety to design a yellow license plate with red letters or numbers to be used as a restricted DUI license plate or tag issued to each second DUI offender on each vehicle with an ignition interlock device.

Automobile license plates.

Summaries of Special License Plate Legislation Introduced in 2015

Arkansas

  • 2015 AR SB 81 - When any a law enforcement officer arrests a person for operating a motor vehicle while that person's operator's license or permit driving privilege has been suspended or revoked due to driving under the influence, if in the best interest of the dependents of the offender, the court shall order a temporary substitute motor vehicle plate that indicates the original license plate has been impounded.
  • Impoundment of license plate.
 

Summaries of Special License Plate Legislation Introduced in 2014

Missouri

  • HB 1994 (2014) - After a second conviction for driving while intoxicated or driving with excessive blood alcohol content within ten years, the offender’s license plates must be surrendered to the court, and the offender may then apply to obtain new license plates with a special series of numbers and letters so as to be identifiable by law enforcement officers.

Summaries of Special License Plate Legislation Introduced in 2013

Montana

  • HB 276: Sponsored by Rep. Champ Edmunds (R) - Providing for special license plates for those convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or violation of the implied consent law; requiring the use of the special license plates on any vehicle operated by a person convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or violation of the implied consent law. Last Action: Died in the House Committee on Judiciary (4/24/2013). 

New York

  • AB 586: Sponsored by Assembly Member Jeffrey Dinowitz (D). Requires persistent alcohol offenders to use distinctive registration plates for such offenders issued by the commissioner of motor vehicles. Last Action: Pending. Referred to the Assembly Committee on Transportation (1/8/2014).

North Carolina

  • HB 812: Sponsored by Representative Jamie Boles (R). Requires persons convicted of impaired driving to have a special license plate of a different color. Last Action: Pending-Carryover. Referred to the House Committee on Transportation (4/11/2013).

Summaries of Special License Plate 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 Plate 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 Plate 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 Plate Legislation Introduced in 2009

Maryland

  • HB 853: 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 Plate 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 Plate 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, NCSL, Digest of State Alcohol Highway Traffic Safety Related Legislation, US Dept. of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; and Westlaw searches.