HB547: Antique motor vehicles; allows use of certain numbers, etc. on license plates.

HOUSE BILL NO. 547
Offered January 11, 2006
Prefiled January 9, 2006
A BILL to amend and reenact § 46.2-730 of the Code of Virginia, relating to license plates for antique motor vehicles.
Patron-- Griffith (By Request)

Referred to Committee on Transportation

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1.  That § 46.2-730 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 46.2-730. License plates for antique motor vehicles and antique trailers; fee.

A. On receipt of an application, the Commissioner shall issue appropriately designed license plates to owners of antique motor vehicles and antique trailers. These license plates shall be valid so long as title to the vehicle is vested in the applicant. The fee for the registration card and license plates of any of these vehicles shall be $10.

B. On receipt of an application, the Commissioner may authorize for use on antique motor vehicles and antique trailers Virginia license plates manufactured prior to 1976 and designed for use without decals, if such license plates are embossed with or are of the same year of issue as the model year of the antique motor vehicle or antique trailer on which they are to be displayed. Original metal year tabs issued in place of license plates for years 1943 and 1953 and used with license plates issued in 1942 and 1952, respectively, also may be authorized by the Commissioner for use on antique motor vehicles and antique trailers that are of the same model year as the year the metal tab was originally issued. These license plates and metal tabs shall remain valid so long as title to the vehicle is vested in the applicant. The fee for the registration card and permission to use the license plates and metal tabs on any of these vehicles shall be $10. Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting the use on antique motor vehicles of license plates or year tabs bearing the year numbers 1951 or 1952 or prohibiting the use of white license plates with black alphanumeric characters or black license plates with white alphanumeric characters.

C. Notwithstanding the provisions of §§ 46.2-711 and 46.2-715, antique motor vehicles may display single license plates if the original manufacturer's design of the antique motor vehicles allows for the use of only single license plates or if the license plate was originally issued in one of the following years and is displayed in accordance with the provisions of subsection B of this section: 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1945, or 1946.

D. Except as provided in subsection E of this section, motor vehicles and trailers registered with license plates issued under this section shall not be used for general transportation purposes, including, but not limited to, daily travel to and from the owner's place of employment, but shall only be used:

1. For participation in club activities, exhibits, tours, parades, and similar events; and

2. On the highways of the Commonwealth for the purpose of testing their operation, obtaining repairs or maintenance, transportation to and from events as described in subdivision 1 of this subsection, and for occasional pleasure driving not exceeding 250 miles from the residence of the owner.

E. Notwithstanding the foregoing provision of this section, antique motor vehicles and antique trailers displaying license plates issued pursuant to subsections B and C of this section may be used for general transportation purposes if the following conditions are met:

1. The physical condition of the vehicle's license plate or plates has been inspected and approved by the Department;

2. The license plate or plates are registered to the specific vehicle by the Department;

3. The owner of the vehicle periodically registers the vehicle with the Department and pays a registration fee for the vehicle equal to that which would be charged to obtain regular state license plates for that vehicle;

4. The vehicle passes a periodic safety inspection as provided in Article 21 (§ 46.2-1157 et seq.) of Chapter 10 of this title;

5. The vehicle displays current decals attached to the license plate, issued by the Department, indicating the valid registration period for the vehicle; and

6. When applicable, the vehicle meets the requirement of Article 22 (§ 46.2-1176 et seq.) of Chapter 10 of this title.

If more than one request is made for use, as provided in this subsection, of license plates having the same number, the Department shall accept only the first such application. Only vehicles titled to the person seeking to use license plates as provided in this subsection shall be eligible to use license plates as provided in this subsection.

F. Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting the use of an antique motor vehicle to tow a trailer or semitrailer.