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Bill Number: 1394 Ratification Number: 731 Act Number 591 Introducing Body: Senate Subject: Specifications of license plates
(A591, R731, S1394)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 56-3-1230, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO SPECIFICATIONS OF LICENSE PLATES, SO AS TO PROVIDE INTERVALS FOR ISSUING SPECIAL LICENSE PLATES AND REVALIDATION OF THE SPECIAL PLATES; TO AMEND SECTION 56-3-2150, RELATING TO ISSUANCE OF SPECIAL LICENSE PLATES, SO AS TO INCLUDE COUNTY CORONERS ON THE LIST OF PERSONS TO WHOM PLATES ARE ISSUED; TO AMEND SECTION 56-3-2170, RELATING TO THE RETURN OF SPECIAL LICENSE PLATES, SO AS TO PROVIDE CONDITIONS FOR THE RETURN OF THE SPECIAL COUNTY CORONER LICENSE PLATES; TO AMEND SECTION 56-3-3710, RELATING TO THE ISSUANCE OF SPECIAL LICENSE PLATES BEARING AN EMBLEM, SEAL, OR OTHER SYMBOL OF A COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY LOCATED IN THIS STATE, SO AS TO INCLUDE PUBLIC COLLEGES OR UNIVERSITIES OR INDEPENDENT INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION, REQUIRE THE PUBLIC COLLEGE, UNIVERSITY, OR INDEPENDENT INSTITUTION OF HIGHER EDUCATION TO SUBMIT A SYMBOL, INCREASE THE FEES, AND PROVIDE FOR THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE FEE TO ALUMNI ASSOCIATIONS; TO ADD ARTICLE 40 TO CHAPTER 3 OF TITLE 56, SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR THE ISSUANCE OF A COMMEMORATIVE "KEEP SOUTH CAROLINA BEAUTIFUL" LICENSE PLATE AND PROVIDE FOR THE BEAUTIFICATION OF ROADS AND HIGHWAYS WITH THE FEES COLLECTED; AND TO ADD ARTICLE 55 TO CHAPTER 3 OF TITLE 56 SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR THE ISSUANCE OF SPECIAL LICENSE PLATES FOR PEARL HARBOR SURVIVORS AND FEES.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Specifications of license plates
SECTION 1. Section 56-3-1230 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 56-3-1230. License plates must be at least six inches wide and not less than twelve inches in length and must show in bold characters the year of registration, serial number, and either the full name or the abbreviation of the name of the State and other distinctive markings as the department may consider advisable to indicate the class of the weight of the vehicle for which the license plate was issued. The plate must be of a strength and quality to provide a minimum service period of five years. A new license plate including personalized and special plates must be provided by the department at intervals the department considers appropriate but at least every six years. License plates issued for vehicles in excess of twenty-six thousand pounds must be issued annually and no revalidation sticker may be issued for the plates.
The face of the license plate must be treated completely with a retroreflective material which increases the nighttime visibility and legibility of the plate. The department shall prepare the specifications for the retroreflective material. In those years in which a metal plate is not issued, a revalidation sticker with a distinctive serial number or other suitable means prescribed by the department must be issued and affixed in the space provided on the license plate assigned to the vehicle upon payment of the fee prescribed for registration and licensing, including fees for personalized or special license plates."
Issuance of special plates to county coroners
SECTION 2. Section 56-3-2150 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 56-3-2150. The Department of Highways and Public Transportation may issue special motor vehicle license plates to members of municipal and county councils and to county coroners of this State for private motor vehicles registered in their names. The annual fee for these special license plates is the same as the fee provided for in Section 56-3-2020 and only one plate may be issued to any one councilman or coroner. The plate must be issued or revalidated annually for the regular registration and licensing year."
Return of special plates
SECTION 3. Section 56-3-2170 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 56-3-2170. The license plate issued pursuant to this article may be transferred to another vehicle of the same weight class owned by the same person upon application being made to and approved by the department. It is unlawful for any person to whom such a plate has been issued to knowingly permit it to be displayed on any vehicle except the one authorized by the department. If a holder of such a plate ceases to be a member of the municipal or county council or ceases to be county coroner he shall immediately return the plate to the department."
Issuance of plates bearing symbol of public college, university, or independent institution of higher learning
SECTION 4. Section 56-3-3710 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Part II, Section 16, Act 170 of 1987, is further amended to read:
"Section 56-3-3710. (A) The Department of Highways and Public Transportation may issue special motor vehicle license plates to owners of private passenger-carrying motor vehicles or light pickups having an empty weight of five thousand pounds or less and a gross weight of eight thousand pounds or less registered in their names which may have imprinted on the plate any emblem, seal, or other symbol the department considers appropriate of a public college or university, or independent institution of higher learning defined in Section 59-113-50, located in this State. A school may submit to the department for its approval the emblem, seal, or other symbol it desires to be used for its respective special license plate. A school also may request a change in the emblem, seal, or other symbol not more than once every five years. The fee for this special license plate is thirty-five dollars each year which is in addition to the regular motor vehicle registration fee as set forth in Article 5, Chapter 3 of this title. This special license plate must be of the same size and general design of regular motor vehicle license plates. The special license plates must be issued or revalidated for an annual period which expires twelve months from the month they are issued.
(B) The fees collected pursuant to this section must be distributed to a separate fund for each of the respective colleges, universities, or independent institutions of higher learning. Each fund must be administered by the school and must be used only for academic scholarships. Funds collected for state colleges and universities must be deposited with the State Treasurer. Funds collected for independent institutions must be deposited in an account designated by the respective school. The distribution is based on the total number of special license plates sold and on the number sold for the respective school as follows:
(1) one thousand or less total special license plates sold: twenty-six dollars to the department and nine dollars to the school for each special license plate sold for the respective school;
(2) more than one thousand and less than two thousand total special license plates sold: twenty-one dollars to the department and fourteen dollars to the school for each special license plate sold for the respective school;
(3) two thousand or more total special license plates sold: fifteen dollars to the department and twenty dollars to the school for each special license plate sold for the respective school.
(C) The department must receive one hundred or more applications requesting a special license plate for a school before a specialized license plate may be developed for that school."
Special commemorative license plates
SECTION 5. Chapter 3, Title 56 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
Section 56-3-3950. The department may issue a special commemorative `Keep South Carolina Beautiful' motor vehicle license plate to establish a special fund to be used by the department for the purposes of beautifying the state's roads and highways. The department, in implementing this program, may not expend beautification funds for wildflowers without prior approval of the South Carolina Department of Agriculture. The Department of Agriculture shall ensure, before granting approval, that the varieties of wildflowers used in beautification are not harmful to agriculture at or near a proposed project. The annual fee for the commemorative license plate is twenty-seven dollars each year and of this amount twelve dollars of this fee must be placed in a special `Keep South Carolina Beautiful' fund. This annual fee is in addition to the regular motor vehicle registration fee as set forth in Article 5, Chapter 7 of this title. The commemorative plate must be of the same size and general design of regular motor vehicle license plates and must be imprinted with the words `Keep South Carolina Beautiful'. The plates must be issued or revalidated for an annual period which expires twelve months from the month they are issued.
Section 56-3-3960. A special license plate issued pursuant to this article may be transferred to another vehicle of the same weight class owned by the same person upon application being made and approved by the department. It is unlawful for any person to whom such a commemorative license plate has been issued knowingly to permit the plate to be displayed on any vehicle except the one authorized by the department.
Section 56-3-3970. The provisions of this article do not affect the registration and licensing of motor vehicles as required by other provisions of this chapter but are cumulative thereto."
Issuance of special plates for Pearl Harbor survivors
SECTION 6. Chapter 3, Title 56 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
Section 56-3-5910. An owner of a motor vehicle who is a resident of this State may apply for a motor vehicle license plate under this article if he:
(1) was a member of the United States Armed Forces on December 7, 1941;
(2) was on station on December 7, 1941, during the hours of 7:55 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., Hawaii time at Pearl Harbor, the Island of Oahu, or offshore at a distance not exceeding three miles; and
(3) received an honorable discharge from the United States Armed Forces.
Section 56-3-5920. The Department of Highways and Public Transportation shall design a Pearl Harbor survivor license plate for motor vehicles. The license plates issued pursuant to this article must be numbered consecutively and contain the words `Pearl Harbor Survivor'.
Section 56-3-5930. (A) An applicant must be issued a Pearl Harbor survivor license plate for his private motor vehicle, used for personal conveyance and not for commercial purposes, upon submitting proof of eligibility and complying with the state motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles, and payment of the regular license fee for license plates as prescribed by law plus, for the initial issuance, an additional fee of fifteen dollars.
(B) All applications for Pearl Harbor survivor license plates must be verified by the South Carolina State Chairman of Pearl Harbor Survivors.
Section 56-3-5940. In those years in which a metal plate is not issued, for a license plate authorized by this article, a revalidation sticker with a distinctive serial number or other suitable means prescribed by the department must be issued and affixed in the space provided on the license plate assigned to the vehicle upon payment of the fee prescribed for registration and licensing.
Section 56-3-5950. Only one license plate may be issued to an applicant, and the license plate is nontransferable."
SECTION 7. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
Approved the 25th day of June, 1990.