Unpopular license plate law dies, drivers not entirely pleased

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courtesy: www.dol.wa.gov

OLYMPIA – It’s a law that many Washington state drivers loved to hate.

The law that required drivers to buy new license plates every seven years is going away, the News Tribune reported.

Next month a new law takes effect, which will let drivers keep their license plates for as long as the they own the car. The good news is no more memorizing new plate numbers, no more replacement schedules, the paper reported.

The not so good news is that the average driver gets a new car every five years. The new law won’t allow plates to transfer when a vehicle is sold, the News Tribune reported.

That means that Washington drivers are expected to buy more an additional 1 million license plates over the next five years.

In addition to added state revenue, the 3M company will benefit; 3M makes the reflective sheeting for the plates.

Washington Correctional Industries, the prison-labor program that makes the license plates, will also benefit, the paper reported.

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13 comments

  • Jimi Burleigh

    I just bought Seahawks plates in Sept. I wonder if speciality plates are excepted. Given the additional annual expense for vanity or specialty plates, you’d expect to be able to keep them when you replace your vehicle.

  • B.A. Wake

    But for people that don’t change their vehicles this is a plus. Currently you can keep your old plates (regular ones not personalized), but you still have to pay the cost of a new one, plus a 10-20 dollar extra fee if I remember right. Because I looked at that this year and thought what idiot would pay the cost of a new one plus an extra fee just to keep their old plates, might as well get new ones without the extra fee.

    • Kyle

      The way it worked with renewals and keeping a plate #, is when you hit your 7 years, you would pay $20 for new plates and new #, or $40 for new plates and keep the existing # (they re-print your plate, increasing production cost and causation for the additional $20)

      • B.A. Wake

        But ya still pay an extra fee for the same plate number, which is dumb. I got a truck that’s over thirty years old and it costs me more to license it than my 30 year newer car. Can’t use collector car plates on it, because it would be illegal to haul loads in it with collector plates. The old yearly excise tax system was better and we had better built and maintained roads then.

  • woldwillie

    These “new” vanity plates look lik someone went to Home Depot and got stickers to put on a blank, instead of being embossed like previous ones.. Really cheap.. If your taking pride enough in your vehicle to want a vanity plate, then the plate should be at last the quality of the “standard” plate..

  • Christian

    Nice article ! I was enlightened by the information , Does someone know where my business could acquire a fillable a form example to fill out ?

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