Exempt vehicles also exempt from 7-year plate replacement

The in basket: Robert Irish tells me that government vehicles, so-called exempted vehicles, also are exempted from having their license plates replaced every seven years like the rest of us. He apparently works for a government entity and said it has a vehicle with a plate issued in 1963. He also mentioned that some of the Kitsap Transit worker/driver buses have barely legible plates.

The out basket: It’s true, says Brad Benfield of the state Department of Licensing.

“State law does not require the replacement of exempt license plates (used on government-owned vehicles) every seven years. 

“Exempt license plates are handled differently that regular license plates,” he said. “They do not require annual renewals and can be transferred from vehicle to vehicle within the fleet of the agency to which the plates were originally issued. 

“Because of the way these types of plates are handled in our motor vehicle database and by our other computer systems, it would have required additional computer system changes to make them subject to our seven-year plate replacement cycle.

 “That said,” Brad added, “public agencies are not exempt from another state law that requires the license plates on their vehicles to be replaced when they become damaged or illegible. They should be replacing license plates that become difficult to read.”

Coincidentally, perhaps, Robert says he’s seen new plates on some of the government vehicles that had faded ones since he posed his question to the Road Warrior.

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