Senator DiPalma’s bill that changes RI’s license plates passes Senate

Rhode Island State House

Senator Louis P. DiPalma’s legislation (2019-S 0715) that changes the way in which new, fully reflective registration plates would be issued, starting December 1, 2019, passed the Senate this week. The legislation would replace the wave-design license plates upon the renewal of the registration so that, over the course of a two year period, all wave plates would be phased out.

“I am thankful to the Senate for their overwhelming support of the plate re-issuance legislation, which is something I have been working on for over 7 years. I chaired a commission on this issue, which reinforced the current state law that all current wave plates should be re-issued with a new design. That should have been accomplished in 2008. Today, there are approximately 25,000 Rhode Island vehicles on the road which are unregistered, uninsured, and uninspected. The time to act is long overdue,” said Senator DiPalma (Dist. 12 – Little Compton, Middletown, Newport, and Tiverton) in a statement.

The act would increase the registration fee for fully reflective plates from $6 to $15. Senator DiPalma said, “As a Rhode Island resident myself and an owner of a few vehicles with RI wave plates, I too do not want to see an increase in the price. However, the current cost of $6 per set of plates goes back to 1997. The $15 cost contemplated in the legislation is driven by the increase in material costs, specifically aluminum, as well as the approach the state has chosen to process, produce and deliver the plates to the owners via the mail.”

He noted that the alternate plan proposed by the governor in the budget for next fiscal year would have residents replace their plates when needed, but would cost $31.50 per set of plates.

Senator DiPalma states that plate re-issuance is a public safety, security and financial issue. It is also an issue of fairness and equity to all Rhode Islanders and that is why he has been advocating for a license plate re-issuance for many years.

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The legislation now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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