(1) The department shall issue a personalized prestige license plate to the owner or lessee of any motor vehicle, except a vehicle registered under the International Registration Plan or a commercial truck required to display two license plates pursuant to s. 320.0706, upon application and payment of the appropriate license tax and fees.
(2) Each request for specific numbers or letters or combinations thereof shall be submitted annually to the department on an application form supplied by the department, accompanied by the following tax and fees:
(a) The license tax required for the vehicle, as set forth in s. 320.08.
(b) A prestige plate annual use fee of $10.
(c) A processing fee of $5, to be deposited into the Highway Safety Operating Trust Fund.
(3) The department shall review each application requesting a personalized prestige license plate and, if requested numerals or letters or combinations thereof have not been previously assigned or issued to any other applicant, and if the required tax and fees have been submitted, the department shall issue and deliver the requested personalized prestige license plate to the applicant.
(4) The department is authorized to reject requests deemed by it to be objectionable, and the department is further authorized to recall, during a registration period, any issued personalized license plate determined by it to be obscene or otherwise objectionable.
(5) Any application rejected by the department shall be returned to the applicant, along with the tax and fees submitted, within 15 days after the receipt of the application. If any personalized license plate is recalled within a current registration period, the department shall refund the prestige plate use fee of $10, the special fee of 50 cents, and the portion of the license tax, computed on a monthly basis, for the unused balance of the registration period.
(6) A personalized prestige license plate shall be issued for the exclusive continuing use of the applicant. An exact duplicate of any plate may not be issued to any other applicant during the same registration period. An exact duplicate may not be issued for any succeeding year unless the previous owner of a specific plate relinquishes it by failure to apply for renewal or reissuance for 1 year following the last year of issuance.
(7) If a vehicle owner who has been issued a personalized prestige license plate acquires a replacement vehicle within a registration period, the department shall authorize a transfer of a prestige license plate to the replacement vehicle in accordance with the provisions of s. 320.0609. There will be no refund of the annual use fee or processing fee.
(8)(a) Personalized prestige license plates shall consist of three types of plates as follows:
1. A plate imprinted with numerals only. Such plates shall consist of numerals from 1 to 999, inclusive.
2. A plate imprinted with capital letters only. Such plates shall consist of capital letters “A” through “Z” and shall be limited to a total of seven of the same or different capital letters. A hyphen may be added in addition to the seven letters.
3. A plate imprinted with both capital letters and numerals. Such plates shall consist of no more than a total of seven characters, including both numerals and capital letters, in any combination, except that a hyphen may be added in addition to the seven characters if desired or needed. However, on those plates issued to, and bearing the names of, organizations, the letters and numerals shall be of such size, if necessary, as to accommodate a maximum of 18 digits for automobiles, trucks, and recreational vehicles and 7 digits for motorcycles. Plates consisting of the four capital letters “PRES” preceded or followed by a hyphen and numerals of 1 to 999 shall be reserved for issuance only to applicants who qualify as members of the press and who are associated with, or are employees of, the reporting media.
(b) Personalized prestige plates must be of the same material, size, and distinctive color as any license plates authorized by this chapter and issued by the state for any registration period; however, the imprinting of personalized prestige license plates shall be limited solely to the following:
1. The letters or numerals or combination of both requested by the applicant must be stamped in large bold letters and numerals, limited to the number of characters based on the specific design of the plate requested by the applicant.
2. The word “Florida” must be stamped across the bottom of the plate in small letters, unless the word “Florida” is required to be stamped across the top of the plate according to the specific design of the plate.
(9) The annual use fee generated pursuant to this section shall be distributed pursuant to s. 320.20.
History.—ss. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, ch. 72-80; s. 1, ch. 74-301; s. 1, ch. 75-229; s. 1, ch. 77-125; s. 11, ch. 77-357; s. 3, ch. 77-395; s. 2, ch. 77-415; s. 1, ch. 78-213; s. 2, ch. 82-50; s. 23, ch. 83-318; s. 20, ch. 86-243; s. 1, ch. 87-197; s. 9, ch. 88-306; s. 1, ch. 88-311; s. 3, ch. 90-194; s. 82, ch. 91-221; s. 53, ch. 94-306; s. 4, ch. 94-315; s. 6, ch. 95-282; s. 20, ch. 96-413; s. 119, ch. 2002-20; s. 63, ch. 2008-4; s. 4, ch. 2009-14; s. 21, ch. 2009-71.