Contact: Tom Jacobs
555 Wright Way
Carson City, NV 89711
Office: (775) 684-4779
Cellular: (775) 721-4062
IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 4, 2002
NEWS FROM: Director’s Office 02-014
Nevada motorists who still have the
“Big Horn Sheep” license plate on their vehicles will be driving illegally
as of January 1, 2003. Plates with
the silver and white background are being replaced by the new “Sunset”
design as mandated by the Nevada State Legislature. The Department of Motor
Vehicles wants to make sure the switch out is as painless as possible for
motorists who do not already have their new plates.
“We want to make sure nobody is
left behind because of something that’s not their fault,” DMV Director Ginny
Lewis said. “Our message is
simple. If you’re renewing in
December, make sure you get ‘Sunset’ plates. If
you’ve already renewed for 2003 and still have ‘Big Horn’ plates, you need
to see us.”
Motorists who have placed a yellow
2003 decal on a Big Horn Sheep license plate should bring those plates to a DMV
Full Service office to receive a new set. No registration renewal or emissions
inspection is required if the registration is current. However, motorists will
be charged a $5 decal fee and a Prison Industries Fee of 50 cents per plate.
Only the “Big Horn Sheep” plate
is being replaced. Blue license
plates, specialty plates and commemorative plates are not affected.
In an effort to smooth the
transition, the Nevada Highway Patrol has agreed to a 90-day grace period for
those motorists caught with “Big Horn Sheep” plates after the first of the
year. Instead of citing drivers for
an illegal plate, troopers will issue a “fix-it ticket” requiring drivers to
get the proper plates.
“The highway patrol’s grace
period doesn’t forgive vehicle registration fees,” Lewis said.
“If a motorist registers late, late fees will still apply regardless of
what license plate they have.”
The DMV has mailed more than
600,000 sets of “Sunset” plates to motorists along with registration renewal
notices over the past year. While most motorists have already changed their
plates with no problem, Lewis says the DMV is certain that some did not receive
the new plates.
“Typically,” Lewis said, “we
have about 6,000 registration renewal notices returned to us each month because
of bad addresses. Some of those are
people who have moved out of state but we know some are people who have moved
within the state and haven’t notified us of their change of address.”
The reason for the plate switch is
to curtail illegal use of the “Big Horn Sheep” plate. Lewis said it’s not unusual for states to redesign and
replace licenses plates periodically. The
last change in Nevada was two decades ago when the “Big Horn Sheep” plate
replaced the blue and white plate. The switch out was mandated by the 1999
Legislature in Assembly Bill 76.
Details on the switch out are on
the DMV’s Web site at www.dmvnv.com.