MOTOR VEHICLE REGISTRATION
49-443. License plates to be furnished by department — Form and contents. (1) The assessor or the department shall furnish to every owner whose vehicle is registered or licensed by that office, pursuant to sections 49-402 and 49-402A, Idaho Code, one (1) license plate for vehicles registered under the provisions of section 49-406, 49-406A or 49-408, Idaho Code, or a motorcycle, trailer, truck-tractor, or semitrailer; one (1) restricted vehicle license plate for all-terrain vehicles, utility type vehicles and motorbikes licensed pursuant to this chapter; and two (2) license plates for every other motor vehicle. If a vehicle is issued one (1) plate only, that plate shall be displayed in accordance with the provisions of section 49-428, Idaho Code. For vehicles registered under the provisions of section 49-407, Idaho Code, the applicant shall provide one (1) plate to be displayed on the rear of the vehicle.
Commencing January 1, 1992, the color and design of the plates shall be comparable to the color and design of the statehood centennial issue of license plates with blue numerals and letters on a multicolored red, white and blue background. Each license plate must bear upon its face the inscriptions "Famous Potatoes" and "Scenic Idaho." The restricted vehicle license plate for all-terrain vehicles, utility type vehicles and motorbikes shall be a white background with black numerals and letters, with "Idaho Restricted Vehicle" and the year of its expiration on its face and no other inscription. The restricted vehicle license plate shall be the same size required for the motorcycle license plate.
Every license plate shall have displayed upon it the registration number assigned to the vehicle and its owner and the name "Idaho," which may be abbreviated. The plates issued under the provisions of section 49-402(1), Idaho Code, and the required letters and numerals, including an identification of the county in which the motor vehicle to which the plates will be affixed is registered, shall be of sufficient size to be plainly readable from a distance of seventy-five (75) feet during daylight, and each license plate and registration sticker shall be treated with a fully reflectorized material according to specifications prescribed by the board.
(2) License plates shall be valid for a period of ten (10) years beginning with the date of issuance of new plates. At the end of the ninth year, the registered owner shall receive notice of the date upon which the plates will expire.
For specialty license plate programs discontinued pursuant to the provisions of section 49-402C, Idaho Code, a registrant with a specialty license plate currently registered under the program may use such license plate for up to ten (10) years from the date of issuance. This provision is intended to permit the use of the specialty plate by the registrant regardless of the number of persons who purchase the specialty plate. The registrant shall be required to pay the special plate program fees provided for specialty plates pursuant to this chapter. Such fees shall be deposited into the state highway account. For purposes of section 49-434, Idaho Code, as it applies to commercial vehicles, and section 49-435, Idaho Code, the department shall provide new plates bearing the same number or, upon request from the registered owner, the next available number.
(3) If a license plate number has expired as provided in subsection (2) of this section and is not renewed within sixty (60) days of its expiration, the plate number shall be available for use by another registrant. To obtain a specific number in the recycled license plate number file, the owner of a registered vehicle may contact the county regarding availability.
The provisions of this subsection shall apply only to vehicles registered under the provisions of section 49-402(1), Idaho Code, and section 49-434(1), Idaho Code, as it applies to noncommercial vehicles.
(4) License plates issued for vehicles required to be registered in accordance with the provisions of sections 49-402 and 49-402A, Idaho Code, shall be issued color-coded red, white or blue registration validation stickers showing the year of registration. Each registration validation sticker shall bear a number from 1 through 12, which number shall correspond to the month of the calendar year in which the registration of the vehicle expires and shall be affixed to the lower right-hand corner of the plates within the outlined rectangular area.
(5) License plates for utility trailers registered under the provisions of section 49-402A, Idaho Code, that are issued for five (5) or ten (10) years and license plates for rental utility trailers registered under the provisions of section 49-434, Idaho Code, that are issued for up to five (5) years shall use the design in effect on the date of manufacture. If a design change occurs, plates from the effective date of the design change shall be manufactured using the new design. Unexpired plates need not be reissued to conform to a design change.
(6) For license plates that are lost, stolen, mutilated, or illegible, the owner shall apply for a duplicate or substitute. The assessor shall also furnish for each registration, and to validate the license plate, a pressure-sensitive, uniquely numbered, color-coded red, white or blue registration sticker, except for trailers and semitrailers registered under the provisions in section 49-434, Idaho Code. License plates issued for state, county and city motor vehicles shall be valid for ten (10) years pursuant to subsection (2) of this section and remain on the vehicle for which issued from year to year and need no renewal or validation sticker.
(7) Whenever a vehicle is completely destroyed by fire or accident and the operator submits satisfactory proof of that destruction to the department or appropriate assessor’s office, or the owner wishes to transfer the remaining registration, use increment and fees shall be transferred to the replacement vehicle for a service transfer fee of five dollars ($5.00), which fee shall be retained by the registering authority. None of the original fees shall be subject to refund.
(8) The department shall furnish a printed or an electronic copy of the registration card to every owner whose vehicle is registered under sections 49-434 and 49-435, Idaho Code.
(9) The board shall have authority to require the return to the department of all license plates and registration stickers upon termination of the lawful use of them by the owner.
(10) The board may promulgate such rules as are necessary to implement the provisions of this section.
[49-443, added 1992, ch. 186, sec. 3, p. 579; am. 1996, ch. 396, sec. 2, p. 1327; am. 1997, ch. 129, sec. 10, p. 391; am. 1998, ch. 392, sec. 15, p. 1221; am. 2001, ch. 73, sec. 12, p. 165; am. 2007, ch. 23, sec. 2, p. 45; am. 2008, ch. 409, sec. 6, p. 1132; am. 2013, ch. 96, sec. 1, p. 233; am. 2014, ch. 38, sec. 8, p. 76; am. 2016, ch. 121, sec. 1, p. 353; am. 2020, ch. 86, sec. 1, p. 230; am. 2020, ch. 125, sec. 7, p. 392; am. 2021, ch. 321, sec. 36, p. 979.]