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Ohio House Passes Legislation Regarding Specialty License Plates

May 8, 2024
Kevin D. Miller News

COLUMBUS –The Ohio House of Representatives today passed House Bill 194, legislation that creates a voluntary and innovative specialty plate program providing additional license plate options for Ohioans. The measure was spearheaded by State Representative Kevin Miller (R-Newark).

Specifically, the legislation: 

·       Requires the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to contract with a private vendor through a competitive bidding process for the right to design and market specialty license plates;

·       Permits the private vendor to enter into agreements with organizations wishing to sponsor specialty license plates; and

·       Allows the vendor to design specialty plates but requires the plates to meet all the state’s specifications and standards. The Registrar may reject a plate design and the Registrar may consult with the highway patrol on safety, reflectivity, and readability.

“Texas launched a similar program, and the state has generated more than $120 million through personalized plate sales,” said Miller. “The private vendor does all the work; consumers and the state reap the benefits. The vendor designs and advertises the new specialty plate designs while creating a robust source of revenue for the state.”

The legislation mandates that a portion of the fees collected are dispersed into the drug law

enforcement fund, which awards grants to drug task forces throughout the state.

The program is voluntary, creating no new fees or taxes for those who choose

not to participate. The legislation authorizes the Registrar to set permissible fees for Ohioans who choose to opt into the new program. The fees created under this new program fall only on Ohioans who choose to participate.

House Bill 194 awaits consideration by the Ohio Senate.