Virginia LGBT License-Plate Bill Pre-Filed
As part of Equality Virginia's campaign to secure an ''Equality for All'' branded license plate in the state, Del. K. Rob Krupicka (D-Alexandria, Fairfax Co.) has pre-filed a bill to that end. Krupicka's Dec. 13 pre-filing takes effect Jan. 8 with the start of the next General Assembly session.
While LGBT advocates are likely headed for some potholes before those license plates become a reality - if ever they do - it's possible the plates could be on cars before 2015.
Under Virginia law, no specialized license plate can be considered by the General Assembly unless the organization pushing for the plate's creation satisfies particular requirements. The law states: ''Once authorized by the General Assembly, no license plates provided for in this article shall be developed and issued by the Department until the Commissioner receives at least 450 prepaid applications within 30 days of the effective date of the authorization associated with the applications.''
In layman's terms, that means Equality Virginia needs to successfully recruit 450 Virginia residents to send in prepaid applications asking for the customized plates before they exist. According to Kirsten Bokenkamp, communications director for Equality Virginia, more than 500 people have registered with Equality Virginia indicating they are interested in purchasing such a plate. Few of those, however, have sent in prepaid applications to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Under Krupicka's bill, the annual fee for the specialized license plates will be $25 beyond the standard license-plate fee. For each fee collected after the first 1,000 registrations, $10 will go to the commonwealth to pay for DMV administrative and operational expenses, as required by law, and $15 will be paid into the state treasury and credited to a special fund for Equality Virginia.
Beyond the 450 prepaid applications, Krupicka's bill must pass both chambers of the General Assembly and then be signed by Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe (D) before the DMV can begin production.
''Putting an equality plate on your car is a great way to show your support for LGBT rights in Virginia and beyond,'' James Parrish, the executive director of Equality Virginia, said in a statement. ''The proceeds will help fund Equality Virginia's work changing hearts and minds throughout the state, but as importantly, the plates are an incredible tool to create visibility and spark further engagement about equality for all Virginians.''
Parrish added that while the organization has not yet secured 450 prepaid applications, he hopes that ''everybody who believes in equality for all Virginians will sign up for these plates buy the end of the year.''
For more information on registering for an ''Equality for All'' license plate, visit Equality Virginia online at equalityvirginia.org