Senate File 271 - IntroducedA Bill ForAn Act 1relating to motor vehicles, including registration
2plates and the minimum standard of transparency for window
3tint, providing fees, providing penalties, and making
4penalties applicable.
5BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA:
1   Section 1.  Section 321.34, Code 2019, is amended by adding
2the following new subsection:
3   NEW SUBSECTION.  11C.  Blackout plates.
   4a.  Upon application and payment of the proper fees,
5the director may issue blackout plates to the owner of a
6motor vehicle subject to registration under section 321.109,
7subsection 1, autocycle, motor truck, motor home, multipurpose
8vehicle, motorcycle, trailer, or travel trailer.
   9b.  Blackout plates shall be designed by the department. A
10blackout plate’s background shall be black, and the plate’s
11letters and numbers shall be white.
   12c.  The special blackout fee for letter-number designated
13blackout plates is thirty-five dollars. An applicant may
14obtain personalized blackout plates upon payment of the fee for
15personalized plates as provided in subsection 5, which is in
16addition to the special blackout fee. The fees collected by
17the director under this subsection shall be paid monthly to
18the treasurer of state and deposited in the road use tax fund.
19The treasurer of state shall credit monthly from the statutory
20allocations fund created under section 321.145, subsection 2,
21to each county’s county mental health and disabilities services
22fund created pursuant to section 331.424A, the amount of the
23special blackout fees collected in the previous month for the
24blackout plates issued to vehicles registered in that county.
   25d.  Upon receipt of the special registration plates, the
26applicant shall surrender the current registration plates to
27the county treasurer. The county treasurer shall validate
28the special registration plates in the same manner as regular
29registration plates are validated under this section. The
30annual special blackout fee for letter-number designated plates
31is ten dollars which shall be paid in addition to the regular
32annual registration fee. The annual fee for personalized
33blackout plates is five dollars which shall be paid in addition
34to the annual special blackout fee and the regular annual
35registration fee. The annual special blackout fee shall be
-1-1credited as provided under paragraph “c”.
   2e.  The department shall not condition the issuance of
3blackout plates on the receipt of any number of orders for
4blackout plates.
5   Sec. 2.  Section 321.37, subsection 3, Code 2019, is amended
6to read as follows:
   73.  It is unlawful for the The owner of a vehicle to shall
8not
place any frame around or over the registration plate
9which does not permit full view of all numerals and letters
10
 the registration plate number, state name, and county name,
11if applicable,
printed on the registration plate, and any
12validation sticker or other registration sticker required to be
13displayed on the plate under this chapter
.
14   Sec. 3.  Section 321.166, subsection 9, Code 2019, is amended
15to read as follows:
   169.  Special registration plates issued pursuant to section
17321.34, other than gold star, medal of honor, collegiate, fire
18fighter, and natural resources, and blackout registration
19plates, shall be consistent with the design and color of
20regular registration plates but shall provide a space on a
21portion of the plate for the purpose of allowing the placement
22of a distinguishing processed emblem or an organization
23decal. Special registration plates shall also comply with
24the requirements for regular registration plates as provided
25in this section to the extent the requirements are consistent
26with the section authorizing a particular special vehicle
27registration plate.
28   Sec. 4.  Section 321.438, subsection 2, Code 2019, is amended
29to read as follows:
   302.  a.  A person shall not operate on the highway a motor
31vehicle equipped with a front windshield, a side window to the
32immediate right or left of the driver, or a side-wing sidewing
33 forward of and to the left or right of the driver which is
34excessively dark or reflective so that it is difficult for a
35person outside the motor vehicle to see into the motor vehicle
-2-1through the windshield, window, or sidewing
 does not meet a
2minimum standard of transparency of thirty-five percent light
3transmittance
. The department shall adopt rules establishing a
4minimum measurable standard of transparency which shall apply
5to violations of this subsection.

   6b.  If a peace officer stops a motor vehicle equipped with a
7side window to the immediate right or left of the driver which
8has a transparency of seventy percent light transmittance or
9less, the driver shall lower the side window on the side of the
10officer’s approach of the vehicle to the side window’s lowest
11possible position prior to the completion of the officer’s
12approach of the vehicle, and shall keep the side window in the
13lowest possible position for the duration of the stop unless
14otherwise instructed by the officer. A person convicted of a
15violation of this paragraph is guilty of a simple misdemeanor
16punishable as a scheduled violation under section 805.8A,
17subsection 14, paragraph “m”. However, if the violation is a
18person’s first violation of this paragraph, and the person has
19not previously been issued a warning memorandum for a violation
20of this paragraph, the officer shall issue a warning memorandum
21to the driver in lieu of a citation.
22   Sec. 5.  Section 805.8A, subsection 3, paragraph ag, Code
232019, is amended to read as follows:
   24ag.  Section 321.438, subsection 1, subsection 2, paragraph
25“a”, and subsection 3
$ 50.
26   Sec. 6.  Section 805.8A, subsection 14, Code 2019, is amended
27by adding the following new paragraph:
28   NEW PARAGRAPH.  m.  Failure to lower tinted side window.  For
29violations under section 321.438, subsection 2, paragraph “b”,
30the scheduled fine is twenty dollars.
31EXPLANATION
32The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with
33the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly.
   34BLACKOUT SPECIAL REGISTRATION PLATES. This bill authorizes
35the department of transportation (DOT) to issue blackout
-3-1special registration plates. The bill requires the plate’s
2background to be black and the plate’s letters and numbers to
3be white.
   4The bill provides that the special blackout fee for
5letter-number designated blackout plates is $35. An applicant
6may obtain personalized blackout plates upon payment of the $25
7fee for personalized plates set forth under current law, which
8is in addition to the special blackout fee. The bill requires
9the fees collected by the DOT for the plates to be paid monthly
10to the treasurer of state and deposited in the road use tax
11fund. The treasurer of state must then credit monthly from
12the statutory allocations fund to each county’s county mental
13health and disabilities services fund the amount of the special
14blackout fees collected in the previous month for the blackout
15plates issued to vehicles registered in that county.
   16Upon receipt of the special registration plates, the
17applicant must surrender the current registration plates to
18the county treasurer. The county treasurer must validate the
19special registration plates in the same manner as regular
20registration plates are validated. The annual special blackout
21fee for letter-number designated plates is $10, which is in
22addition to the regular annual registration fee. The annual
23fee for personalized blackout plates is $5, which is in
24addition to the annual special blackout fee and the regular
25annual registration fee. The bill requires the annual special
26blackout fee to be credited in the same way as the special
27blackout fee.
   28The bill prohibits the DOT from conditioning the issuance
29of blackout plates on the receipt of any number of orders for
30blackout plates.
   31DISPLAY OF PLATES. The bill prohibits the owner of a vehicle
32from placing any frame around or over the registration plate
33which does not permit full view of the registration plate
34number, state name, and county name, if applicable, printed on
35the registration plate, and any validation sticker or other
-4-1registration sticker required to be displayed on the plate.
2A violation of this provision of the bill is punishable by a
3scheduled fine of $20.
   4WINDOW TINT. Under current law, a person is prohibited from
5operating a motor vehicle equipped with a front windshield, a
6side window to the immediate right or left of the driver, or
7a sidewing forward of and to the left or right of the driver
8which is excessively dark or reflective so that it is difficult
9for a person outside the motor vehicle to see into the motor
10vehicle through the windshield, window, or sidewing. Under
11rules adopted by the DOT (761 IAC 450.7), “excessively dark or
12reflective” means the windshield, side window, or sidewing does
13not meet a minimum standard of transparency of 70 percent light
14transmittance.
   15The bill prohibits a person from operating a motor vehicle
16equipped with a front windshield, a side window to the
17immediate right or left of the driver, or a sidewing forward
18of and to the left or right of the driver which does not
19meet a minimum standard of transparency of 35 percent light
20transmittance. The bill also strikes the provision requiring
21the DOT to adopt rules establishing a minimum measurable
22standard of transparency. A violation of this provision of the
23bill is punishable by a scheduled fine of $50.
   24The bill also provides that if a peace officer stops a motor
25vehicle equipped with a side window to the immediate right or
26left of the driver which has a transparency of 70 percent light
27transmittance or less, the driver must lower the side window
28on the side of the officer’s approach of the vehicle to the
29side window’s lowest possible position prior to the completion
30of the officer’s approach of the vehicle, and must keep the
31side window in the lowest possible position for the duration
32of the stop unless otherwise instructed by the officer. A
33violation of this provision of the bill is punishable by a
34scheduled fine of $20. However, if the violation is a person’s
35first violation, and the person has not previously been issued
-5-1a warning memorandum for a similar violation, the officer is
2required to issue a warning memorandum to the driver in lieu
3of a citation.
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