Utah House passes moratorium on personalized license plates for 2nd straight year

Feb 2, 2023, 2:53 PM
Utah is on the verge of temporarily pausing its personalized license plate program once again. The ...
FILE: Nick Lobos cleans his 1950 Ford during the Rumble in the Park car show in Salt Lake city on June 13, 2021. A bill is being considered to "streamline" Utah's license plate process, including temporarily pausing new personalized license plates from being issued. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)
(Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah is on the verge of temporarily pausing its personalized license plate program once again.

The Utah House of Representatives passed HB26 with a 53-18 vote Tuesday, sending it to Utah Senate for final approval. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Norm Thurston, R-Provo, calls for a two-year moratorium on the personalized license plate program, or vanity plates, while also tweaking the process regarding how sponsored special group license plates are created.

It isn’t much different from a bill that Thurston sponsored last year, which also cleared the House of Representatives but stalled in the Utah Senate. The representative told KSL.com at the time that he believed it would have passed but the second chamber “didn’t get around to it” before the 2022 legislative session ended.

Thurston explained that the point of the bill is to “streamline” the license plate process in the state. It would set aside more options for standard Utah license plates and also alter the process for specialty license plates so that the Legislature doesn’t have to spend time looking at bills every year, while also making it clearer where the money from those license plates goes.

It would even allow a county to exempt some motor vehicles from emissions inspections regardless of whether or not they have vintage plates.

The bill also tackles a potential issue with the state’s personalized plate program. Thurston said the primary issue with the program is that its criteria for what is and isn’t considered offensive are about as “vague” as other states that have been sued over their criteria.

Thurston said he believes there are three options the state could do to handle the situation.

Please see Carter Williams’ original reporting on KSL.com.



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Utah House passes moratorium on personalized license plates for 2nd straight year