Friday, August 12, 2016

VA-DMV Fails to Prepare for New Law (2016's SB666/HB1190) So I Might be Required to Pay Late-Fee, My Husband Could Face a Felony & 13 Other Virginians Will be Humiliated

Because the Virginia DMV failed to prepare for the new law that passed through the Virginia Legislature unanimously passed I might be looking at a late-fee, my husband could be facing a felony and 13 other Virginians will be publicly humiliated or unnecessarily enraged in the near future. 

  • On March 1, 2016 Virginia Governor McAuliffe signed SB666-Senator Dick Black into law.
  • On March 11, 2016 Virginia Governor McAuliffe signed HB 1190-Delegates Tag Greason/Marcus Simon into law.
Ø       This new law prohibits the Virginia DMV from issuing to Registered Sex Offenders special license plates relating to children or children's programs or with revenues paid to funds for the benefit of children or renewing the registration for a vehicle that has been issued such license plates.

  • The Virginia DMV knew 4 months before they became law on July 1, 2016 of the 19,869 Children’s Charity Specialty License Plates in circulation 14 were owned or co-owned to someone listed on the Virginia State Police Sex Offender Registry.
  • On Thursday July 14, 2016 I received my VA-DMV registration renewal for my 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee which is due in August. My husband is a co-owner and he is a Non-Violent RSO. The DMV renewal I received was standard so I went ahead and paid the fee mailing it off on July 20th. I expected one of two things to occur.
    1. I’d get a letter in the mail any day stating that my renewal was sent in error because my husband is an RSO and it would explain what  SB666 and HB 1190 meant in regards to my current Kid’s First Specialty Plate and that I’d be receiving a standard-plate in the mail before the end of August unless I wanted to select a new specialty-plate at a DMV location.
    2. I’d receive a standard Virginia license plate and be told it replaces my Kid’s First Specialty Plate on September 1st because my Kid’s First Specialty Plate had been revoked since  SB666 and HB 1190 had become law on July 1st  AND there’d be a refund for the difference in cost for a standard-plate and a specialty-plate.
  • Three weeks passed since I mailed off my VA-DMV renewal and payment, no letters, no replacement plate and no phone calls.
  • On Friday August 12th I received a letter (it’s above) dated August 5th and post-marked August 9th that included my payment and my completed re-registration form. The letter said I must select a new License Plate BUT it did not give ANY explanation why. There is no notation of the new Virginia law banning Registered Sex Offenders from owning a License Plate that benefits a Children’s Charity.  But the letter does tell me that if I don’t select a new plate before the end of August I will be responsible for a $10 late fee. 

The VA-DMV had 4 months to figure out who the 14 license plates belonged to and when their next re-registrations were due before the law took effect, but they didn’t. 

When the VA-DMV finally took the necessary steps they don’t even tell the owners why their license plate must be replaced. Those 13 owners (7 of which have co-owners who are NOT RSO’s) are either going to call the DMV phone number or walk-in to a DMV location with this letter not knowing about the new law and a DMV employee is going to tell them it’s because they or their loved one who is a co-owner is a Registered Sex Offender, nice huh? That won’t create a public spectacle, perhaps some tears or even curse words. 

So now I have 13 business days to get to a DMV location and buy a standard Virginia license plate so I don’t face a late-fee because the VA-DMV couldn’t get their act together. 

But wait it gets better! 

Within 3 days (not 3 business days) of placing a new license plate on MY vehicle, per Virginia law my husband must go in-person to a Virginia State Police Barracks which are only open Mon-Fri 8:30am to 4pm to tell them the old plate is void and what the new plate numbers/letters are. Because RSO’s can’t call in data changes to the VSP, they can’t email data changes to the VSP and the VSP doesn’t have an electronic re-registration system. So my husband must find time during work hours to get to a VSP Barracks because if he doesn’t……..he’ll face a felony. 

This is how myth-based, anti-Sex Offender laws that sail through the Virginia Legislature with no facts but plenty of fear-mongering actually get handled by the State after our elected-officials declare victory. 

Mary Devoy

Past Posts on VA Bill’s  SB666, HB1190 and HB305: