House Study Bill 622 - Introduced HOUSE FILE _____ BY (PROPOSED COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION BILL BY CHAIRPERSON BYRNES) A BILL FOR An Act providing for special vehicle registration plates 1 displaying a decal designed and issued by a nonprofit 2 organization, providing fees, making a penalty applicable, 3 and including effective date provisions. 4 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA: 5 TLSB 6019YC (2) 86 ns/nh
H.F. _____ Section 1. Section 321.34, subsection 13, Code 2016, is 1 amended by striking the subsection and inserting in lieu 2 thereof the following: 3 13. Special plates displaying organization decal. 4 a. (1) The owner of a motor vehicle subject to registration 5 pursuant to section 321.109, subsection 1, motor truck, motor 6 home, multipurpose vehicle, motorcycle, trailer, or travel 7 trailer may upon request be issued special registration 8 plates that contain a space reserved for the placement of an 9 organization decal. If the special plates are requested at the 10 time of initial application for registration and certificate 11 of title for the vehicle, no special plate fee is required 12 other than the regular annual registration fee for the vehicle. 13 If the special plates are requested as replacement plates, 14 the owner shall surrender the current regular or special 15 registration plates in exchange for the special plates and 16 shall pay a replacement plate fee of five dollars. The county 17 treasurer shall validate special plates with an organization 18 decal in the same manner as regular plates, upon payment of the 19 annual registration fee. 20 (2) An applicant may obtain a personalized special 21 registration plate with space reserved for an organization 22 decal, subject to the additional fees for a personalized plate 23 as provided in subsection 5. Personalized plates with space 24 reserved for an organization decal shall be limited to no more 25 than five initials, letters, or combinations of numerals and 26 letters. 27 b. (1) An organization may apply to the department 28 for approval to issue a decal to be displayed on vehicle 29 registration plates. To qualify for such approval, an 30 organization must have at least two hundred members in this 31 state and shall meet the following requirements: 32 (a) The primary activity or interest of the organization 33 serves the community, contributes to the welfare of others, 34 and is not discriminatory in its purpose, nature, activity, or 35 -1- LSB 6019YC (2) 86 ns/nh 1/ 5
H.F. _____ name. 1 (b) The name and purpose of the organization do not promote 2 any specific product or brand name that is provided for sale. 3 (c) The organization is a nonprofit corporation which is 4 exempt from taxation under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal 5 Revenue Code and is organized under the laws of this state or 6 authorized to do business within this state. 7 (2) The department may accept an application for a decal 8 design from a group of nonprofit organizations with a common 9 purpose, provided that each organization within the group meets 10 the requirements for a qualifying organization established by 11 the department under this subsection. 12 c. An organization desiring to issue a decal shall submit an 13 application to the department on a form to be provided by the 14 department. Along with the application, the organization shall 15 furnish to the department all of the following: 16 (1) A copy of the articles of incorporation for the 17 organization. 18 (2) A copy of the charter or by-laws for the organization. 19 (3) Any Internal Revenue Service rulings concerning the 20 organization’s nonprofit tax exemption status. 21 (4) A color copy of the completed decal design. 22 (5) A clear and concise explanation of the purpose of the 23 decal, all eligibility requirements for purchasing the decal, 24 and fees to be charged for the decal. 25 (6) Certification by the person who has legal rights to the 26 decal design allowing use of the design. 27 (7) Any other information required by the department. 28 d. The department shall consider a proposed decal design 29 based upon criteria established by the department, which shall 30 include but not be limited to the following: 31 (1) A decal shall not promote a specific religion, faith, or 32 anti-religious sentiment. 33 (2) A decal shall not have any sexual connotation and shall 34 not be vulgar, prejudiced, hostile, insulting, or racially or 35 -2- LSB 6019YC (2) 86 ns/nh 2/ 5
H.F. _____ ethnically degrading. 1 e. Upon approval by the department of an organization’s 2 application to issue a decal and approval of the design of the 3 decal, the organization is responsible for the production, 4 administration, and issuance of the decal. An organization 5 shall not issue a decal that has not been approved by the 6 department or alter the approved design of a decal without the 7 department’s approval. 8 f. A person shall not display a decal on a vehicle 9 registration plate other than a decal approved by the 10 department. 11 g. The department may adopt rules pursuant to chapter 17A as 12 necessary to implement this subsection. 13 Sec. 2. Section 321.166, subsection 9, Code 2016, is amended 14 to read as follows: 15 9. Special registration plates issued pursuant to section 16 321.34 , other than gold star, medal of honor, collegiate, fire 17 fighter, and natural resources registration plates, shall be 18 consistent with the design and color of regular registration 19 plates but shall provide a space on a portion of the plate 20 for the purpose of allowing the placement of a distinguishing 21 processed emblem or an organization decal . Special 22 registration plates shall also comply with the requirements 23 for regular registration plates as provided in this section to 24 the extent the requirements are consistent with the section 25 authorizing a particular special vehicle registration plate. 26 Sec. 3. EFFECTIVE DATE. This Act takes effect January 1, 27 2017. 28 EXPLANATION 29 The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with 30 the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly. 31 This bill provides for the issuance of special vehicle 32 registration plates containing a space for the placement of 33 an organization decal and provides a process for the approval 34 of registration plate decals to be issued by qualifying 35 -3- LSB 6019YC (2) 86 ns/nh 3/ 5
H.F. _____ organizations. 1 Under current law, anyone may submit a request to the 2 department of transportation for approval of a new special 3 registration plate with a processed emblem. If the department 4 approves the request and the design of the proposed emblem, 5 a minimum of 500 paid applications are required before the 6 department begins issuing the plate. The department may cancel 7 its approval if sufficient applications are not received within 8 one year. A vehicle owner is charged a fee of $25 for the 9 issuance of the special plates, and an annual $5 validation 10 fee for renewal. Those fees are deposited in the road use 11 tax fund. An alternative process allows for a state agency 12 to sponsor a special registration plate, with fees of $35 for 13 issuance and $10 for renewal. Those fees are credited to the 14 sponsoring state agency. 15 The bill eliminates the current process for a person to 16 request a new special plate and eliminates state agency 17 sponsorship of new special plates. Under the bill, the 18 department will begin issuing special registration plates with 19 a space reserved for placement of an organization decal to be 20 designed, produced, and issued by a qualifying organization, 21 rather than the department. The plates will be available 22 without an additional special plate fee at the time of initial 23 registration of a vehicle, and will be renewed annually upon 24 payment of the regular annual registration fee for the vehicle. 25 A $5 replacement fee applies if the plates are issued in 26 exchange for regular or special plates. The new plates will 27 also be available as personalized plates upon payment of 28 personalized plate fees. 29 A qualifying organization must be a nonprofit corporation 30 with at least 200 members, whose primary activity or interest 31 serves the community, contributes to the welfare of others, and 32 is not discriminatory. A group of such organizations with a 33 common purpose may also be approved to issue a decal. The bill 34 specifies that organizations that promote a specific product 35 -4- LSB 6019YC (2) 86 ns/nh 4/ 5
H.F. _____ or brand name are not eligible to issue organization decals. 1 An organization desiring to issue a decal must apply to the 2 department for approval by submitting information concerning 3 its nonprofit corporation identity along with a copy of the 4 proposed decal design, certification of legal rights to use 5 the design, and an explanation of the purpose of the decal, 6 eligibility requirements, and fees the organization will charge 7 for the decal. The department may establish criteria for decal 8 designs, including that a decal shall not promote a specific 9 religion, faith, or anti-religious sentiment, shall not have 10 any sexual connotation, and shall not be vulgar, prejudiced, 11 hostile, insulting, or racially or ethnically degrading. If 12 the department approves the application, the organization is 13 responsible for the production, administration, and issuance 14 of the decal, and any fees charged by the organization for the 15 decals will be retained by the organization. 16 The bill prohibits any organization from issuing a decal 17 without the approval of the department. The bill also 18 prohibits a person from displaying a decal other than an 19 approved decal on a vehicle registration plate. Pursuant to 20 current law, a person who violates Code provisions relating 21 to vehicle registration plates commits a simple misdemeanor 22 punishable by a scheduled fine of $20. 23 The bill takes effect January 1, 2017. 24 -5- LSB 6019YC (2) 86 ns/nh 5/ 5