GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA
SESSION LAW 2019-213
HOUSE BILL 449
AN ACT To authorize the issuance of handicapped license plates to a registered vehicle owner that is the guardian or parent of a handicapped person and to authorize the division of motor vehicles to produce various spECIAL REGISTRATION PLATEs.
The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:
SECTION 1.(a) G.S. 20‑37.5 reads as rewritten:
"§ 20‑37.5. Definitions.
(1a) Guardian. – Any of the following:
a. Custodian. – As defined in G.S. 7B‑101(8).
b. General guardian. – As defined in G.S. 35A‑1202(7).
c. Guardian of the person. – As defined in G.S. 35A‑1202(10).
SECTION 1.(b) G.S. 20‑37.6 reads as rewritten:
"§ 20‑37.6. Parking privileges for handicapped drivers and passengers.
Owners; Distinguishing License Plates. – If the handicapped person is a registered
owner of a vehicle, vehicle is handicapped or the registered owner certifies
that the registered owner is the guardian or parent of a handicapped person, the
registered owner may apply for and display a distinguishing license
plate. This license plate shall be issued for the normal fee applicable to
standard license plates. Any vehicle owner who qualifies for a distinguishing
license plate shall be notified by the Division at the time the plate is issued
that the applicant is also eligible to receive one removable windshield placard
and, upon request, shall be issued a placard at that time. A vehicle with a
distinguishing license plate may be lawfully used when a handicapped person is
not a driver or passenger so long as the vehicle is not using handicapped privileges
including parking in a space designated with a sign pursuant to subsection (d)
of this section.
and Passengers; Distinguishing Placards. – A handicapped person may apply
for the issuance of a removable windshield placard or a temporary removable
windshield placard. Upon request, one additional placard may be issued to
applicants who do not have a distinguishing license plate. Any organization
which, as determined and certified by the State Vocational Rehabilitation
Agency, regularly transports handicapped persons may also apply. These
organizations may receive one removable windshield placard for each
transporting vehicle. When the removable windshield or temporary removable
windshield placard is properly displayed, all parking rights and privileges
extended to vehicles displaying a distinguishing license plate issued pursuant
to subsection (b) shall apply. The removable windshield placard or the
temporary removable windshield placard shall be displayed so that it may be
viewed from the front and rear of the vehicle by hanging it from the front
windshield rearview mirror of a vehicle using a parking space allowed for handicapped
persons. When there is no inside rearview mirror, or when the placard cannot
reasonably be hung from the rearview mirror by the handicapped person, the
placard shall be displayed on the driver's side of the dashboard. A removable
windshield placard placed on a motorized wheelchair or similar vehicle shall be
displayed in a clearly visible location. The Division shall establish
procedures for the issuance of the placards and may charge a fee sufficient to
pay the actual cost of issuance, but in no event less than five dollars ($5.00)
per placard. The Division shall issue a placard registration card with each
placard issued to a handicapped person. The registration card shall bear the
name of the person to whom the placard is issued, the person's address, the
placard number, and an expiration date. The registration card shall be in the
vehicle in which the placard is being used, and the person to whom the placard
is issued shall be the operator or a passenger in the vehicle in which the
placard is displayed.
(c1) Application and Renewal;
Medical Certification. – The initial application for a distinguishing license
plate, removable windshield placard, or temporary removable windshield placard
shall be accompanied by a certification of a licensed physician, a licensed
ophthalmologist, a licensed optometrist, a licensed physician assistant, a
licensed nurse practitioner, or the Division of Services for the Blind that the
applicant or person in the applicant's custody or care is handicapped or
by a disability determination by the United States Department of Veterans
Affairs that the applicant or person in the applicant's custody or care is
handicapped. For an initial application for a temporary removable windshield
placard only, the certification that the applicant is handicapped may be made
by a licensed certified nurse midwife. The application for a temporary
removable windshield placard shall contain additional certification to include
the period of time the certifying authority determines the applicant will have
the disability. Distinguishing license plates shall be renewed annually, but
subsequent applications shall not require a medical certification that the
handicapped. handicapped, except that a registered owner
that certified pursuant to subsection (b) of this section that the registered
owner is the guardian or parent of a handicapped person must recertify every five
years. Removable windshield placards shall be renewed every five years,
and, except for a person certified as totally and permanently disabled at the
time of the initial application or a prior renewal under this subsection, the
renewal shall require a medical recertification that the person is handicapped;
provided that a medical certification shall not be required to renew any
placard that expires after the person to whom it is issued is 80 years of age.
Temporary removable windshield placards shall expire no later than six months
SECTION 2.(a) G.S. 20‑63(b1) is amended by adding two new subdivisions to read:
"() Keeping The Lights On.
() POW/MIA Bring Them Home."
SECTION 2.(b) G.S. 20‑79.4(b) reads as rewritten:
"(b) Types. – The Division shall issue the following types of special registration plates:
() ALS Research. – Issuable to a registered owner of a motor vehicle in accordance with G.S. 20‑81.12. The plate shall bear a picture of a baseball and the phrase "Cure ALS."
() Keeping The Lights On. – Issuable to a registered owner of a motor vehicle in accordance with G.S. 20‑81.12. The plate shall have a background of mountains to the coast and bear a picture of a line worker on a utility pole on the left and the phrase "Keeping The Lights On" at the top of the registration plate.
() POW/MIA Bring Them Home. – The plate shall have the phrase "POW/MIA Bring Them Home" with artwork submitted by Rolling Thunder, Inc., Chapter #1 North Carolina and reviewed by the Division to ensure compliance with G.S. 20‑79.4(a3). A person may obtain from the Division a special registration plate under this subdivision for the registered owner of a motor vehicle or a motorcycle. The division may not issue a plate authorized under this subdivision until it receives at least 350 applications for the plate. Applications for motor vehicle special registration plates and motorcycle special registration plates received by the Division each count towards the minimum number of applications necessary to issue a plate under this subdivision.
() Wrightsville Beach. – Issuable to a registered owner of a motor vehicle in accordance with G.S. 20‑81.12. The plate shall bear the Town of Wrightsville Beach logo followed by the four assigned or personalized characters ending with the suffix WB.
SECTION 2.(c) G.S. 20‑79.7 reads as rewritten:
"§ 20‑79.7. Fees for special registration plates and distribution of the fees.
(a1) Fees. – All other special registration plates are subject to the regular motor vehicle registration fee in G.S. 20‑87 or G.S. 20‑88 plus an additional fee in the following amount:
Special Plate Additional Fee Amount
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity $30.00
ALS Research $30.00
American Red Cross $30.00
In God We Trust $30.00
Keeping The Lights On $30.00
Kick Cancer for Kids $30.00
Piedmont Airlines $20.00
POW/MIA Bring Them Home $20.00
Prince Hall Mason $20.00
USO of NC Expired July 1, 2016
Wrightsville Beach $20.00
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority $20.00
(b) Distribution of Fees. –
The Special Registration Plate Account and the Collegiate and Cultural
Attraction Plate Account are established within the Highway Fund. The Division
must credit the additional fee imposed for the special registration plates
subsection (a) subsection (a1) of this section among
the Special Registration Plate Account (SRPA), the Collegiate and Cultural
Attraction Plate Account (CCAPA), the Clean Water Management Trust Fund
(CWMTF), which is established under G.S. 113A‑253, and the Parks and
Recreation Trust Fund, which is established under G.S. 113‑44.15, as
Special Plate SRPA CCAPA CWMTF PRTF
ALS Association, Jim ''Catfish''
Hunter Chapter –
Expired July 1, 2016
ALS Research $10 $20 0 0
American Red Cross –
Expired July 1, 2016
Kappa Alpha Order –
Expired July 1, 2016
Keeping The Lights On $10 $20 0 0
Kick Cancer for Kids $10 $20 0 0
Pisgah Conservancy $10 $20 0 0
POW/MIA Bring Them Home $10 $10 0 0
Prince Hall Mason $10 $10 0 0
Wildlife Resources $10 $20 0 0
Wrightsville Beach $10 $10 0 0
Expired July 1, 2016
SECTION 2.(d) G.S. 20‑81.12 is amended by adding the following new subsections to read:
"() ALS Research. – The Division shall transfer quarterly the money in the Collegiate and Cultural Attraction Plate Account derived from the sale of ALS Research plates to The ALS Association of North Carolina Chapter to support ALS research.
() Keeping The Lights On. – The Division shall transfer quarterly the money in the Collegiate and Cultural Attraction Plate Account derived from the sale of Keeping The Lights On plates to the UNC Jaycee Burn Center.
() POW/MIA Bring Them Home. – The Division shall transfer quarterly the money in the Collegiate and Cultural Attraction Plate Account derived from the sale of POW/MIA Bring Them Home plates to Rolling Thunder, Inc., Chapter #1 North Carolina.
() Wrightsville Beach. – The Division shall transfer quarterly the money in the Collegiate and Cultural Attraction Plate Account derived from the sale of Wrightsville Beach plates to the Town of Wrightsville Beach to help fund the Town's continuing efforts to maintain and improve recreational opportunities for residents and visitors of Wrightsville Beach."
SECTION 2.(e) The Revisor of Statutes is authorized to alphabetize, number, and renumber the special registration plates listed in G.S. 20‑63(b1), 20‑79.4(b), and 20‑81.12 to ensure that all the special registration plates are listed in alphabetical order and numbered accordingly.
SECTION 2.(f) The POW/MIA Bring Them Home plate authorized by this section is not subject to the requirements to establish a new special registration plate in G.S. 20‑79.3A and the expiration of special registration plate authorization in G.S. 20‑79.8.
SECTION 3. This act becomes effective March 1, 2020.
In the General Assembly read three times and ratified this the 28th day of August, 2019.
s/ Philip E. Berger
President Pro Tempore of the Senate
s/ Tim Moore
Speaker of the House of Representatives
s/ Roy Cooper
Approved 4:56 p.m. this 4th day of September, 2019