H. B. 2703
(By Delegate Beane)
[Introduced February 24, 1995; referred to the
Committee on Roads and Transportation then
A BILL to amend and reenact section twenty-three, article three,
chapter seventeen-a of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to
issuing Class A license plates to drug task forces operating
in the state and to the criminal investigation unit of the
department of tax and revenue for vehicles involved in
undercover work of the drug task force.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section twenty-three, article three, chapter
seventeen-a of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine
hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 3. ORIGINAL AND RENEWAL OF REGISTRATION; ISSUANCE OF
CERTIFICATES OF TITLE.
§17A-3-23. Registration plates to state, county, municipal and
other governmental vehicles; use for undercover
(a) Except as otherwise provided in subsections (c) and (d)
of this section,
Any any motor vehicle designed to carry
passengers, owned or leased by the state of West Virginia, or any
of its departments, bureaus, commissions or institutions, except
vehicles used by the governor, treasurer, vehicles operated by
the department of public safety, not to exceed six vehicles
operated by conservation officers of the division of natural
resources, not to exceed ten vehicles operated by the arson
investigators of the office of state fire marshal, and not to
exceed sixteen vehicles operated by inspectors of the office of
the alcohol beverage control commissioner, shall not be operated
or driven by any person unless it shall have displayed and
attached to the front thereof, in the same manner as regular
motor vehicle registration plates are attached, a plate of the
same size as the regular registration plate, with white lettering on a green background bearing the words "West Virginia" in one
line and the words "State Car" in another line, and the lettering
for the words "State Car" shall be of sufficient size to be
plainly readable from a distance of one hundred feet during
Such vehicle shall also have attached to the rear a plate
bearing a number and such other words and figures as the
commissioner of motor vehicles shall prescribe. The rear plate
shall also be green with the number in white.
(b) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c) of this
On on registration plates issued to vehicles owned by
counties, the color shall be white on red with the word "County"
on top of the plate and the words "West Virginia" on the bottom.
On any registration plates issued to a city or municipality, the
color shall be white on blue with the word "City" on top, and the
words "West Virginia" on the bottom. The colors may not be
reversed and shall be of reflectorized material. The
commissioner is hereby authorized to designate the colors and
design of any other registration plates that are issued without
charge to any other agency in accordance with the motor vehicle laws. The registration plates issued to counties, municipalities
and other governmental agencies authorized to receive colored
plates hereunder shall be affixed to both the front and rear of
That upon Upon application and payment of
fees, the commissioner is hereby authorized to issue a maximum of
five twenty Class A license plates per applicant to be used by
county sheriffs and municipalities on law-enforcement vehicles
while engaged to be used in undercover investigations when the
chief law-enforcement officer signs a written affidavit stating
that the vehicle or vehicles for which the plates are being
requested will be used only for official undercover work:
Provided, That none of these vehicles shall be used to issue
traffic citations. No other registration plate shall be issued
for, or attached to, any such state-owned vehicle.
(d) Upon application and payment of fees, the commissioner
is hereby authorized to issue a maximum of twenty Class A license
plates to the criminal investigation division of the department
of tax and revenue for use by its investigators. No other
registration plate shall be issued for, or attached to, any such vehicle.
(e) The commissioner of motor vehicles shall have a
sufficient number of both front and rear plates produced to
attach to all state-owned cars. The numbered registration plates
for such vehicles shall start with the number "five hundred" and
the commissioner shall issue consecutive numbers for all
(f) It shall be the duty of each office, department, bureau,
commission or institution furnished any such vehicle to have such
plates affixed thereto prior to the operation of such vehicle by
any official or employee.
(g) Any person violating the provisions of this section
shall be is guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction
thereof, shall be fined not less than fifty dollars nor more than
one hundred dollars.
(h) Magistrates shall have concurrent jurisdiction with
circuit and criminal courts for the enforcement of this section.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to permit the motor
vehicles commissioner to issue an unlimited number of Class A
license plates to drug task forces operating in West Virginia if the chief law enforcement officer of a drug task force affirms in
an affidavit that the vehicles which will use such plates are
required for undercover work of the drug task force.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken
from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language
that would be added.