Omnibus license plate bill passed

Lawmakers gave final approval to an omnibus license plate bill May 2.

Sen. Jim Scheer
Sen. Jim Scheer

LB356, sponsored by Norfolk Sen. Jim Scheer, redistributes certain specialty license plate fees. It will dedicate 85 percent of the application and renewal fees associated with Sammy’s Superheroes license plates to the University of Nebraska Medical Center for pediatric cancer research. The remaining 15 percent will be credited to the state Department of Motor Vehicles cash fund.

The bill also reclassifies a Sammy’s Superheroes license plate from an organizational to a specialty plate. This changes the initial application fee from $70 to $40 for a message plate and $5 for an alphanumeric plate.

Sixty percent of all application and renewal fees for standard message plates, Husker Spirit plates and organizational plates will be credited to the state DMV cash fund. The remaining 40 percent will be credited to the Highway Trust Fund.

Application and renewal fees for all specialty plates are $40 for message plates and $5 for alphanumeric plates. LB356 adds a $5 fee for a Breast Cancer Awareness alphanumeric plate.

The bill also establishes a standard $50 application fee for both the special interest motor vehicle and one-plate plus sticker program.

The state DMV is authorized to discontinue specialty license plates every year that standard license plates are reissued, or every six years, if no more than 250 plates are issued for two consecutive years. New license plates next will be issued in 2023.

Gold Star, Purple Heart, Ex-POW, Pearl Harbor Survivor and Disabled American Veteran license plates are exempt from the discontinuance provision.

Finally, the bill includes provisions from several additional bills, including:
• LB128, originally introduced by Venango Sen. Dan Hughes, which authorizes bighorn sheep and sandhill crane license plates;
• LB215, originally introduced by Elkhorn Sen. Lou Ann Linehan, which authorizes a prostate cancer awareness license plate; and
• LB691, originally introduced by Omaha Sen. Michaela Cavanaugh, which authorizes an ornate box turtle specialty license plate.

Application for and distribution of specialty license plates created under LB356 will be available effective Jan. 1, 2021.

The bill passed on a 49-0 vote.

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