CHAPTER NO. 1128

HOUSE BILL NO. 253

By Representative Ridgeway

Substituted for: Senate Bill No. 201

By Senators Herron, Crowe

AN ACT to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 55, Chapters 4 and 21, relative to personalized license plates for handicapped drivers.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE:

SECTION 1. Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 55-21-103, is amended by adding the following language as a new subsection (b), and by renumbering subsequent subsections accordingly:

(b)(1) Upon payment of a fee of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) in addition to the regular registration fee, persons who are eligible to purchase or receive registration and license plates of distinctive design for disabled drivers pursuant to this chapter may elect instead to make application to the department, through the county clerk, for personalized motor vehicle license plates in the form and manner prescribed in Section 55-4-303.

(2) Such personalized motor vehicle license plates for disabled drivers shall consist of not less than three (3) nor more than six (6) identifying numbers, letters or combination thereof, as requested by the owner or lessee of the motor vehicle to which such registration plates are assigned. Such plates shall also bear the stylized wheelchair symbol required by Section 55-21-104.

(3) The requested registration numbers for such plates shall not conflict with nor duplicate any existing passenger, recreational, commercial trailer or motor vehicle registration plates nor conflict nor duplicate with any special registration plates issued pursuant to statute, resolution, executive order or custom.

(4) The department may refuse to issue any combination of letters, words or numbers that may carry connotations offensive to good taste and decency or which would be misleading.

(5) Personalized motor vehicle license plates for disabled drivers shall be the same size as the regular license plates of distinctive design for disabled drivers.

(6) Personalized motor vehicle license plates for disabled drivers shall be issued only to eligible owners or lessees of vehicles on which such plates are to be displayed.

(7) Personalized motor vehicle license plates for disabled drivers may be renewed annually by the eligible owner or lessee of the vehicles upon payment of a fee of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) in addition to the regular registration fee, if applicable.

SECTION 2. Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 55-4-224, is amended by designating the present language as subsection (a), and by adding the following language as a new subsection (b):

(b) Persons who are eligible to purchase or receive license plates of distinctive design for disabled drivers pursuant to the chapter 21 of this title may elect instead to apply for a personalized motor vehicle license plate pursuant to Section 55-21-103(b). The registration fee for such plates shall be twenty-five dollars ($25.00) annually in addition to the regular registration fee, if applicable.

SECTION 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 1998, the public welfare requiring it.

PASSED: May 1, 1998

APPROVED this day of 1998

Pursuant to Article III, Section 18, of the Constitution of the State of Tennessee, the Governor had House Bill No. 253 in his possession longer than ten (10) days, so therefore the bill becomes law without the Governor's signature.