Indiana 'vanity plates' return Friday - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Indiana 'vanity plates' return Friday

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FOX19 -

Indiana will start issuing new personalized license plates on Friday.

The Bureau of Motor Vehicles suspended the program three years ago when the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana sued the state for prohibiting a motorist from purchasing a plate that read “OINK.”  

The ACLU of Indiana contended the BMV used vague standards in assessing the appropriateness of personalized license plates, and noted it had previously approved the “OINK” plate.

But last November the state Supreme Court ruled in favor of the BMV, mirroring an earlier U.S. Supreme Court decision on specialty license plates.

The state’s high court said the BMV has direct control over whether a message on a personalized license plate is approved or denied.

Beginning Friday, customers who have been waiting for a new personalized license plate will be able visit a branch or go online to apply for one.

Spokesman Josh Gillespie said the program brought in about $3.5 million a year.

Hoosier vehicle owners can get a personalized plate that includes up to eight letters and/or numbers. The plates cost $45,  must be renewed each year, and their content also must be approved on an annual basis.

The content of the requested plates must be in accordance with state code that allows the department to reject those that carry "a connotation offensive to good taste and decency or would be misleading."

Customers who are registering a new vehicle or renewing their registration for the year can apply online. Drivers who wish to switch out their up-to-date plates for a specialized plate will need to visit a license branch.

Motorists who currently have a personalized plate will be able to continue renewing their existing PLP or may choose to apply for a new one.

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