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Subject 560-10-22 ISSUANCE OF SPECIAL PRESTIGE LICENSE PLATES

Rule 560-10-22-.01 Classes of Special and Distinctive License Plates

Procedures for issuance of Special Prestige, College Commemorative, Certified Firefighter, Amateur Radio, Survivor of Pearl Harbor, Purple Heart Recipient and Retired Veteran's license plates are set forth in this Chapter. All special license plates enumerated in this Chapter except Special Prestige Motorcycle license plates may be used on passenger cars, station wagons, vans or trucks, not exceeding 14,000 pounds owner's declared gross weight, or non-commercial trailers. Special Prestige motorcycle license plates may be used only on motorcycles. These classes of special license plates may be used on a vehicle owned or leased by the applicant or jointly owned by the applicant provided the applicant's name is on the owner's certificate of registration.

Rule 560-10-22-.02 Special Prestige License Plates

(1) Applicants for special prestige license plates must submit a Special Prestige License Plate Application (form MV-9B) and the manufacturing fee of $35.00 to the tag agent in the county wherein the owner of the vehicle resides during the period specified by the Department. The county tag agent may waive the application form requirement if the owner applies for the special prestige license plate in person in the office of said tag agent.
(2) Special prestige license plates for motorcycles are restricted to a maximum of six (6) letters, six (6) numbers, or any combination thereof totaling no more than six (6). All other special prestige license plates are restricted to a maximum of seven (7) letters, seven (7) numbers, or any combination thereof totaling no more than seven (7). No punctuation or symbols are allowed. All requests for a special prestige license plate will be approved based upon the order in which they are received. No combination shall be issued on a special prestige license plate that duplicates a regular issue license plate. Applicants should print or type in the spaces provided on the application form the alpha and/or numeric characters desired and leave blank any spaces not used. The burden of proving eligibility for a special prestige license plate shall always be on the applicant.
(3) The Commissioner of the Department of Revenue or his/her designee shall maintain a list of letter and number combinations that are not permitted for prestige license plates. This list shall be accessible to the public. The Commissioner or his/her designee shall periodically but no less than once yearly, review the list to ensure that all letter/number combinations on the list fall within one of the prohibited categories below. The Commissioner or his/her designee shall provide public notice of this review. Any letter/number combination that does not fall within one of the prohibited categories below shall be immediately removed from the list. Special prestige license plates will not be issued for letter/number combinations that fall into any of the following categories:
(a) Contains any combination of letters or numbers which are obscene according to current community standards, or which includes any reference to sex, sexual acts or body parts, or any reference to excrement or to bodily fluids;
(b) Contains any combination of letters or numbers which disparage a religious belief or being, race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation;
(c) Contains any combination of letters or numbers which indicate an office or position unless the applicant holds such office or position including, but not limited to, an elected office, employment as a police officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician, paramedic or first responder;
(d) Contains any combination of letters or numbers which are profane;
(e) Contains any combination of letters or numbers subject to a trademark or copyright unless the applicant owns the trademark or copyright;
(f) Contains any combination of letters or numbers referring to a crime or criminal activity under state or federal law;
(g) Contains any combination of letters or numbers which might reasonably result in an immediate breach of the peace; or
(h) Contains the following combination of letters and or numbers: hate, h8, ha8, hat, haytr, aytr, anti, ante, suck, suk, blow, 69.
(4) Applications for a special prestige license plate will be processed as follows:
(a) Where an application is submitted, either in person or by mail, to a county tag office, the county tag agent processing the application shall check the requested letter/number combination against the list of prohibited tags maintained by the Commissioner of the Department of Revenue. If the requested letter/number combination is on the list of prohibited tags maintained by the Commissioner, or the request duplicates a regular issue license plate, the county tag agent will notify the applicant that the request is denied, give a reason for the denial and provide the applicant with the procedure for appeal. If the requested letter/number combination is not on the list, then the application shall be forwarded to the Department of Revenue for a determination under paragraph (4)(c) below.
(b) Where an application is submitted, either in person or by mail, to the Department of Revenue, the Commissioner or his/her designee shall check the requested letter/number combination against the list of prohibited tags. If the requested letter/number combination is on the list, or the request duplicates a regular issue license plate, the Commissioner or his/her designee will notify the applicant that the request is denied, give a reason for the denial and provide the applicant with the procedure for appeal. If the requested letter/number combination is not on the list, the Commissioner or his/her designee will make a determination under paragraph (4)(c) below.
(c) If the requested letter/number combination is not on the prohibited list, the Commissioner or his/her designee shall determine whether the letter/number combination falls within any of the prohibited categories listed in paragraph (3) above. In making this determination, the Commissioner or his/her designee shall be guided by the following:
1. the definitions of words as found in a standard English dictionary;
2. review of the letter/number combination both from left to right and right to left;
3. phonetic spelling; and
4. standard foreign language dictionaries.

The applicant will be notified of the decision to approve or deny the prestige license plate request. If the request is denied, the applicant will be provided with the procedure for appeal under paragraph (5) below.

(d) The Commissioner or his/her designee may recall and cancel any special prestige license plate that may later be determined to fall into any of the aforementioned categories in paragraph (3) above. If a plate is recalled a registration stop will be placed on the applicable license plate, specifying it as "recalled". The owner/applicant will be notified by mail that a new personalized choice must be made. The owner/applicant may appeal the recall as described in paragraph (5) below.
(e) If an application for the manufacture of a special prestige license plate is submitted by mail and subsequently denied, the Department or the county tag agent shall return the application to the applicant indicating that the request is denied, give a reason for the denial and provide the applicant with the procedure for appeal. The Department or the county tag agent shall also issue a refund under separate cover of the manufacturing fee and special tag renewal fee.
(5) Any person whose application for a prestige license plate is denied may appeal the denial within thirty (30) days of the date the notice of denial is issued. A panel of three members, designated by the Commissioner, will review all appeals. The application will be denied only where all three members of the panel vote to deny the appeal. If an appeal is denied, the panel shall provide a written statement of their reasons for denial of the appeal.
(6) A person to whom a special prestige license plate has been issued may request a special prestige license plate with the same information for the next license plate period in the manner prescribed by the Department during the person's registration month in the year prior to the issuance of the new license plate or during a time period determined by the Commissioner. If the owner fails to make such a request by the end of his or her registration month in the year of the next license plate period or during the time period determined by the Commissioner, the special prestige license plate combination previously issued to the applicant will be made available to other applicants on a first-come, first-served basis.

Rule 560-10-22-.03 College Commemorative License Plates

(1) Application for a College Commemorative license plate for a Georgia College or University, accompanied by a manufacturing fee of $25.00 must be submitted to the Motor Vehicle Division or county tag agent on form MV-9C.
(2) Applications for license plates for Georgia colleges or universities for which commemorative license plates were not issued during the current year will be held until 500 applications for each college or university are received. If 500 requests for the manufacture of a commemorative license plate are not received by July 31 of the year, a commemorative license plate will not be designed for issuance during the following year. In such case, the application will be returned to the applicant and the manufacturing fee refunded.
(3) There is no limit as to the number of applications an eligible individual may submit for this special and distinctive license plate. However, only one such plate will be issued for each authorized vehicle owned, jointly owned or leased by an eligible applicant.

Rule 560-10-22-.04 Certified Firefighter License Plates

(1) Application for a Certified Firefighter license plate must be submitter to the Motor Vehicle Division or county tag agent on form MV-9F accompanied by a manufacturing fee of $25.00. The firefighter's social security number and the name of the legally organized fire department or volunteer fire department with which the applicant is affiliated must be shown in the designated blocks.
(2) Application must be accompanied by certification from the applicant's fire chief stating their eligibility.
(3) Only one Certified Firefighter license plate may be issued to a qualified applicant.
(4) Applications which are denied will be returned to the applicant and the manufacturing fee refunded.

Rule 560-10-22-.05 Amateur Radio License Plates

(1) Application for an Amateur Radio license plate, form MV-9, accompanied by a photocopy of the applicant's unexpired, unrevoked license issued by the Federal Communications Commission and showing assigned call letters, must be submitted to the Motor Vehicle Division or county tag agent.
(2) Only one Amateur Radio license plate may be issued for each eligible individual to whom a license has been issued by the Federal Communications Commission.

Rule 560-10-22-.06 Survivor of Pearl Harbor License Plate

(1) Application for a special and distinctive license plate by motor vehicle owners who are veterans of the armed forces of the United States and survived the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, may be submitted to the Motor Vehicle Division or county agent on form MV-9S accompanied by a manufacturing fee of $60.00
(2) Applicants who are not members of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, Incorporated should assure their name has been included on the list of eligible individuals which has been provided by that organization to the Motor Vehicle Division. Membership in the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, Incorporated is not required.
(3) There is no limit as to the number of applications an eligible individual may submit for this special and distinctive license plate. However, only one such plate will be issued for each vehicle owned, jointly owned or leased by an eligible applicant.
(4) The spouse of a deceased survivor of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, shall be eligible after the death of the eligible survivor to continue to register a motor vehicle owned, jointly owned or leased by the spouse as long as the spouse does not remarry.

Rule 560-10-22-.07 Purple Heart Recipient License Plates

(1) Application for a special and distinctive license plate by motor vehicle owners who have been awarded the Purple Heart citation may be made on form MV-P and submitted to the Motor Vehicle Division or county tag agent. Photocopy of the applicant's Report of Separation from Active Duty, (DD Form 214) or other military record reflecting award of a Purple Heart to the applicant is a required supporting document and must be submitted with the application.
(2) Applications received in any year when this special and distinctive license plate was not issued will be held until 250 applications are received. If 250 applications for this license plate are not received by July 31st of the year, a license plate will not be designed for issuance during the following year.
(3) Only one free special and distinctive license plate may be issued to each qualified applicant. There is no limit as to the number of additional license plates which an eligible individual may purchase upon payment of a $40 manufacturing fee and completion of form MV-9P.
(4) The spouse of a deceased Purple Heart recipient shall be eligible after the death of the eligible recipient to continue to register a motor vehicle owned, jointly owned or leased by the spouse as long as the spouse does not remarry.

Rule 560-10-22-.08 Veteran License Plates

(1) Application for a special and distinctive license plate by motor vehicle owners who are retired veterans of the armed forces may be made on form MV-9V. Veterans who served during World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War or Operation Desert Storm may apply for a special and distinctive license plate using form MV-9W. Applications must be accompanied by a manufacturing fee of $60.00 and be submitted to the Motor Vehicle Division or county tag agent with a copy of the certificate of retirement, or other military record reflecting retirement on form DD214.
(2) There is no limit as to the number of applications an eligible individual may submit for this special and distinctive license plate. However, only one such plate will be issued for each vehicle owned, jointly owned or leased by an eligible applicant.
(3) The spouse of a deceased retired veteran or veteran who served during World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War or Operation Desert Storm shall be eligible after the death of the eligible veteran to continue to register a motor vehicle owned, jointly owned or leased by the spouse as long as the spouse does not remarry.

Rule 560-10-22-.09 Processing of Approved Applications

Approved applications for all registrants pre-applying for special and distinctive license plates enumerated in this chapter will be returned to the applicant. The license plate will be sent to the county tag agent of the county where the applicant resides. The license plate will be issued to the applicant on or after January 1 of the following year during the registrant's registration renewal period for use on an authorized vehicle upon presentation of the approved application and payment of current ad valorem taxes, registration fee and any other taxes, fees and/or penalties which may be due.

Rule 560-10-22-.10 Refund of Manufacturing Fees

If it is determined that a prestige or special or distinctive license plate was issued in error the holder shall be notified that the license plate is revoked. The holder shall return the revoked license plate to the Motor Vehicle Division or the appropriate County Tag Agent and register his vehicle as otherwise provided by law. Manufacturing fees for prestige or special and distinctive license plates which have been issued in error will be refunded to the applicant after surrender of the revoked license plate. No refund of manufacturing fees will be made if an applicant for a prestige or special and distinctive license plate decides he no longer wants the license plate he has ordered, no longer owns a vehicle on which such license plate may be displayed or is no longer a resident of this state.

Rule 560-10-22-.11 Transfer of Prestige and Other Special License Plates

License plates issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter are not transferable to a vehicle owned other than by the original applicant or jointly owned by the original applicant. Upon transfer of the ownership of a vehicle bearing such non-transferable license plate, the owner shall remove the license plate and the authority to use this same shall thereby be canceled. However, after such a transfer of ownership occurs, the owner may transfer the license plate to a newly acquired or other passenger car, trailer, station wagon, van or truck not exceeding 14,000 pounds owner's declared gross vehicle weight or non-commercial trailer which he leases, owns or owns jointly provided that a special license plate is only transferable to another passenger vehicle or non-commercial trailer registered in the same tag class as currently registered. Such transfer is accomplished by submitting to the appropriate county tag agent a new application, a $5 transfer fee, copy of the registration certificate for the vehicle on which the license plate was previously displayed and the owner's registration certificate or other proof of ownership of the vehicle being registered (validated by county tag office indicating ad valorem taxes paid or vehicle exempt from ad valorem taxes).

Rule 560-10-22-.12 Renewal Registrations

In years subsequent to the initial issue of a prestige or special and distinctive license plate during the five (5) year tag cycle of the license plate, renewal is accomplished by a renewal decal issued by the County Tag Agent in the same manner as for other vehicles which do not display special license plates.

Rule 560-10-22-.13 Issuance of Special License Plates Commemorating Certain Organizations, Institutions, Associations or Groups

(1) Any Georgia organization, institution, association or group desiring the approval of the issuance of a special license plate commemorating the organization, institution, association, or group shall submit a request to the Department of Form T-212. The application shall include the name of the organization, its address and telephone number, the name, address and telephone number of the authorized representative of the organization, institution, association or group, and shall be accompanied by a proposed design for the license plate compatible with the standard design for special license plates adopted by the commissioner, and surety bond, along with any other information the commissioner requires.
(2) The organization, institution, association or group shall be responsible for any copyright, slogan, logo or graphic necessary for the manufacture of the special license plate. Such copyright, slogan, logo or graphic must be assigned to the State of Georgia for the purpose of manufacturing the commemorative license plate.
(3) No special license plate will be approved that adversely affects public safety. No special license plate shall be approved by the commissioner which is determined to be obscene, profane, or defamatory of a religious belief or being, race or ethnic group.
(4) After initial approval by the commissioner, applications for special license plates will be held by each organization, institution, association or group until at least 1,000 applications are received. If 1,000 or more applications for the special license plate are not received by the deadline for application, a special license plate will not be manufactured. The organization, institution, association, or group holding the applications will refund the manufacturing fee to the applicant within 30 days of the application deadline. When the minimum number of requests are received, the applications and manufacturing fees will be forwarded by the organization to the commissioner within 15 days of the end of the application period accompanied by the final design of the special license plate. The applications will be approved by the commissioner and the applicants will be mailed approval notices prior to their registration period. The license plate will be sent to the applicant's county tag agent, and will be issued to the individual upon the individual's presentation of the approval notice, tag application and applicable fees and taxes to the county tag agent during the applicant's registration period.
(5) A special license plate commemorating a Georgia organization, institution, association or group may be issued to an owner of a passenger car, trailer, truck, or van type vehicle which is not registered under the International Registration Plan and does not exceed 14,000 pounds owner's declared weight, provided that form MV-9Q accompanied by a manufacturing fee of $25 per license plate requested is submitted to the organization, institution, association or group between January 1 and July 31 in the year preceding the year of issuance.
(6) There is no limit to the number of applications an individual may submit for a special license plate; however, only one such plate will be issued for each vehicle owned, jointly owned, or leased by the individual.
(7) In addition to the initial $25 manufacturing fee, the annual registration of an authorized vehicle with a special license plate will include the following: $20 registration/license plate/decal fee, applicable ad valorem taxed and a $25 annual registration fee.
(8) All fees collected by a county tag agent and all manufacturing fees submitted by the organization, institution, association, or group to the commissioner shall be deposited into the state treasury.
(9) Before any organization, institution, association, or group shall be approved for a special commemorative license plate, such organization, institution, association or group shall be required to give an annual performance bond in the amount of $25,000 with good and sufficient surety or sureties licensed to do business in this state payable to, in favor of, and for the protection of either the organization, the applicant, or the Revenue commissioner. Such bond shall be posted before any applications are accepted for the manufacture of a special license plate by the organization, institution, association, or group.