Shag Clubs License Plates Might Face Delays

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RICHMOND — Legislation authorizing the use of specialty plates for Virginia shag dance club members might stall in committee Tuesday because of a lack of applicants.

House Bill 1427, sponsored by Delegate G. Manoli Loupassi, R-Richmond, proposes to issue license plates with the legend Shag Dance Clubs of Virginia.

Virginia has nine shag dance clubs with an estimated 2,000 members that are also part of the Association of Carolina Shag Clubs.

Bill Vogel, a member of the Richmond Shag Club, said he was told passing the bill might be difficult without 350 prepaid applications for the plate.

The Department of Motor Vehicles’ Web site states that 350 prepaid applications have to arrive within 30 days of the plate’s authorization for it to be issued. Authorization is usually July 1 of the approval year.

Vogel said the shag clubs thought the prepaid applications would not need to be ready until the plate was authorized.

I just hadn’t seen anything in the state code about anything like that, Vogel said.

Delegate Edward T. Scott, R-Culpeper, said stricter rules on specialty license plate submissions prevent the General Assembly from spending time removing un-issued plates.

Virginia has a tremendously successful specialty license plate program, Scott said. As a result of this, we would approve many more plates than would actually be adopted. Several years ago we began working on a legislative process to handle this.”

Scott said the General Assembly discourages people from submitting plates without the necessary number of prepaid applications, but there is still a possibility the shag tag bill could pass.

Last year we did approve four license plates for people that said we dont have the 350 names yet, but we think we will, Scott said. One of those failed — it was a 25 percent failure rate. That’s down from an 80 percent failure rate.

Virginia has more than 200 specialty plates available through the DMV Web site.
The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators in November said about 16 percent of the plates issued in the state are vanity plates.

The shag tag plate is one of seven special license plates being considered by the third house transportation subcommittee.

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