2012 South Carolina Code of Laws
Title 56 - Motor Vehicles
Chapter 3 - MOTOR VEHICLE REGISTRATION AND LICENSING
Section 56-3-8000 - Non-profit organization license plates.


SC Code § 56-3-8000 (2012) What's This?

< Section effective until December 26, 2012. See, also, section effective December 26, 2012. >

(A) The Department of Motor Vehicles may issue special motor vehicle license plates to owners of private passenger motor vehicles as defined in Section 56-3-630 and motorcycles registered in their names which may have imprinted on the plate an emblem, a seal, or other symbol the department considers appropriate of an organization which has obtained certification pursuant to either Section 501(C)(3), 501(C)(6), 501(C)(7), or 501(C)(8) of the Federal Internal Revenue Code and maintained this certification for a period of five years. The biennial fee for this special license plate is the regular registration fee set forth in Article 5, Chapter 3 of this title plus an additional fee to be requested by the individual or organization seeking issuance of the plate. The initial fee amount requested may be changed only every five years from the first year the plate is issued. Of the additional fee collected pursuant to this section, the Comptroller General shall place sufficient funds into a special restricted account to be used by the Department of Motor Vehicles to defray the expenses of producing and administering special license plates. Any of the remaining fee not placed in the restricted account must be distributed to an organization designated by the individual or organization seeking issuance of the license plate. The special license plate must be issued or revalidated for a biennial period which expires twenty-four months from the month it is issued.

(B) Before the department produces and distributes a plate pursuant to this section, it must receive:

(1) four hundred or more prepaid applications for the special license plate or four thousand dollars from the individual or organization seeking issuance of the license plate; and

(2) a plan to market the sale of the special license plate which must be approved by the department. If the individual or organization seeking issuance of the plate submits four thousand dollars, the Comptroller General shall place that money into a restricted account to be used by the department to defray the initial cost of producing the special license plate.

(C) If the department receives less than three hundred biennial applications and renewals for a particular plate authorized under this section, it shall not produce additional plates in that series. The department shall continue to issue plates of that series until the existing inventory is exhausted.

(D) License plates issued pursuant to this section shall not contain a reference to a private or public college or university in this State or use symbols, designs, or logos of these institutions without the institution's written authorization.

(E) Before a design is approved, the organization must submit to the department written authorization for the use of any copyrighted or registered logo, trademark, or design.

(F) The department may alter, modify, or refuse to produce any special license plate that it deems offensive or fails to meet community standards. If the department alters, modifies, or refuses to produce a special license plate, the organization or individual applying for the license plate may appeal the department's decision to a special joint legislative committee. This committee shall be comprised of two members from the House Education and Public Works Committee and two members from the Senate Transportation Committee.

Appointments to the joint legislative committee shall be made by the chairmen of the House Education and Public Works Committee and the Senate Transportation Committee. The department's decision may be reversed by a majority of the joint legislative committee. If the committee reverses the department's decision, the department must issue the license plate pursuant to the committee's decision. However, the provision contained in subitem (B) of this section also must be met. The joint legislative committee may also review all license plates issued by the department and instruct the department to cease issuing or renewing a plate it deems offensive or fails to meet community standards.

(G) For each new classification of special vehicle license plate including, but not limited to, motorcycle license plates, created pursuant to this section must meet the requirements of Articles 81 and 82, Chapter 3, Title 56 as appropriate.

HISTORY: 1999 Act No. 63, Section 7; 2000 Act No. 286, Section 1; 2002 Act No. 194, Section 1; 2006 Act No. 398, Section 2, eff September 7, 2006; 2008 Act No. 297, Section 5, eff upon approval (became law without the Governor's signature on June 12, 2008); 2008 Act No. 347, Sections 13, 17, 31, eff June 16, 2008; 2008 Act No. 353, Section 7, eff July 1, 2008.

< Section effective December 26, 2012. See, also, section effective until December 26, 2012. >

(A) The Department of Motor Vehicles may issue special motor vehicle license plates to owners of private passenger motor vehicles as defined in Section 56-3-630, and motorcycles as defined in Section 56-3-20, registered in their names which may have imprinted on the plate an emblem, a seal, or other symbol the department considers appropriate of an organization which has obtained certification pursuant to either Section 501(C)(3), 501(C)(6), 501(C)(7), or 501(C)(8) of the Federal Internal Revenue Code and maintained this certification for a period of five years. The special license plate must be the same size and general design of regular motor vehicle license plates and must be issued or revalidated for a biennial period which expires twenty-four months from the month it is issued. The biennial fee for this special license plate is the regular registration fee set forth in Article 5, Chapter 3 of this title plus an additional fee to be requested by the individual or organization seeking issuance of the plate. The initial fee amount requested may be changed only every five years from the first year the plate is issued. Of the additional fee collected pursuant to this section, the Comptroller General shall place sufficient funds into a special restricted account to be used by the Department of Motor Vehicles to defray the expenses of producing and administering special license plates. Any of the remaining fee not placed in the restricted account must be distributed to an organization designated by the individual or organization seeking issuance of the license plate.

(B) If the organization seeking issuance of the plate does not request an additional fee above the regular registration fee, the department may collect an additional fee of ten dollars.

(C) Of the additional fee collected pursuant to subsections (A) and (B), the Comptroller General shall place sufficient funds into a special restricted account to be used by the Department of Motor Vehicles to defray the expenses of producing and administering special license plates.

(D) Any of the remaining additional fee collected pursuant to subsection (B) not placed in the restricted account must be distributed to an organization designated by the individual or organization seeking issuance of the license plate, or to the general fund, if no additional fee is requested by the organization.

(E) Before the department produces and distributes a plate pursuant to this section, it must receive:

(1) six thousand eight hundred dollars from the individual or organization seeking issuance of the license plate; and

(2) a plan to market the sale of the special license plate which must be approved by the department. If the individual or organization seeking issuance of the plate submits six thousand eight hundred dollars, the Comptroller General shall place that money into a restricted account to be used by the department to defray the initial cost of producing the special license plate.

(F) If the department receives less than three hundred biennial applications and renewals for a particular plate authorized under this section, it shall not produce additional plates in that series. The department shall continue to issue plates of that series until the existing inventory is exhausted.

(G) License plates issued pursuant to this section shall not contain a reference to a private or public college or university in this State or use symbols, designs, or logos of these institutions without the institution's written authorization.

(H) Before a design is approved, the organization must submit to the department written authorization of legal authority for the use of any copyrighted or registered logo, trademark, or design, and the organization's acceptance of legal responsibility for the use.

(I) The department may alter, modify, or refuse to produce any special license plate that it deems offensive or fails to meet community standards. If the department alters, modifies, or refuses to produce a special license plate, the organization or individual applying for the license plate may appeal the department's decision to a special joint legislative committee. This committee shall be comprised of two members from the House Education and Public Works Committee and two members from the Senate Transportation Committee.

Appointments to the joint legislative committee shall be made by the chairmen of the House Education and Public Works Committee and the Senate Transportation Committee. The department's decision may be reversed by a majority of the joint legislative committee. If the committee reverses the department's decision, the department must issue the license plate pursuant to the committee's decision. However, the provision contained in subsection (E) also must be met. The joint legislative committee may also review all license plates issued by the department and instruct the department to cease issuing or renewing a plate it deems offensive or fails to meet community standards.

(J) Each new classification of special vehicle license plates including, but not limited to, motorcycle license plates, created pursuant to this section must meet the requirements of Articles 81 and 82, Chapter 3, Title 56 as appropriate.

(K) The fee required in subsection (E)(1) must be reviewed by the General Assembly during the 2013 legislative session, and every two years thereafter. The department must provide a detailed, comprehensive justification to increase the fee. Any fee increase must be introduced in a separate bill separate and apart from any other matter.

HISTORY: 1999 Act No. 63, Section 7; 2000 Act No. 286, Section 1; 2002 Act No. 194, Section 1; 2006 Act No. 398, Section 2, eff September 7, 2006; 2008 Act No. 297, Section 5, eff upon approval (became law without the Governor's signature on June 12, 2008); 2008 Act No. 347, Sections 13, 17, 31, eff June 16, 2008; 2008 Act No. 353, Section 7, eff July 1, 2008; 2012 Act No. 272, Section 21, eff December 26, 2012.

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