Senate Bill No. 559
(By Senators Ross, Redd and Ball)
[Introduced February 21, 2000; referred to the Committee on
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 authorizing
the commissioner of motor vehicles to issue two Class A
license plates for vehicles of the department of health and
human resources for use by its criminal investigators.
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
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, three plates per elected office of the board of public
works, vehicles operated by the state police, 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, not to exceed two vehicles operated
by the criminal investigators of the investigations and fraud
management unit of the department of health and human resources and
not to exceed sixteen vehicles operated by inspectors of the office
of the alcohol beverage control commissioner, may not be operated
or driven by any person unless it has 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 daylight.
The vehicle shall also have attached to the rear a plate
bearing a number and any other words and figures as the commissioner
of motor vehicles shall prescribe. The rear plate shall also be
green with the number in white.
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 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 the vehicles.
The commissioner is 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
Upon application and payment of fees, the commissioner is authorized to issue a maximum of five Class A license plates per
applicant to be used by county sheriffs and municipalities on
law-enforcement vehicles while engaged in undercover investigations.
The commissioner is authorized to issue an unlimited number of
license plates per applicant to authorized drug and violent crime
task forces in the state of West Virginia when the chairperson of
the control group of a drug and violent crime task force 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 conducted by a drug and violent crime task force.
The commissioner is authorized to issue twenty Class A license
plates to the criminal investigation division of the department of
tax and revenue for use by its investigators.
The commissioner may issue two Class A license plates to the
investigations and fraud management unit of the department of health
and human resources for use by its criminal investigators.
The commissioner may issue a maximum of ten Class A license
plates to the division of natural resources for use by conservation
officers. The commissioner shall designate the color and design of
the registration plates to be displayed on the front and the rear
of all other state-owned vehicles owned by the division of natural resources and operated by conservation officers.
No other registration plate may be issued for, or attached to,
any state-owned vehicle.
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 the vehicles
shall start with the number "five hundred" and the commissioner
shall issue consecutive numbers for all state-owned cars.
It is the duty of each office, department, bureau, commission
or institution furnished any vehicle to have plates as described
herein affixed thereto prior to the operation of the vehicle by any
official or employee.
Any person who violates the provisions of this section shall
be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be
fined not less than fifty dollars nor more than one hundred dollars.
Magistrates shall have concurrent jurisdiction with circuit and
criminal courts for the enforcement of this section.