Specialty license plate overhaul advances to House

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INDIANAPOLIS – A bill that would overhaul Indiana’s specialty license plate system will advance to the full House.

Rep. Ed Soliday, R-Valparaiso, sponsored the bill, which passed Wednesday after a 12-0 committee vote.

The bill would create an eight-member panel to review requests from groups that want specialty plates to raise money. Such groups would have to abide by new requirements and sell at least 500 plates a year.

Soliday said the legislation is meant to create a fair application system for groups hoping to get specialty plates. Groups receive $25 of the extra $40 fee charged by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

The panel could endorse five new specialty plates a year. The bill would also set a 150-plate cap on the number of plates offered by the BMV.

Soliday tried to restructure the system during the last legislative session, but he dropped the idea after some lawmakers pushed to withdraw plates from Indiana Youth Group, an organization that counsels gay youths.

A review later found that the organization and two others auctioned off low-numbered plates, breaking their contract with the state. The BMV then revoked the plate.

Under the new proposal, the BMV could revoke the plate of any group that breaks state or federal law.

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