20-84. Permanent registration plates; State Highway Patrol.

(a) General. - The Division may issue a permanent registration plate for a motor vehicle owned by one of the entities authorized to have a permanent registration plate in this section. To obtain a permanent registration plate, an authorized representative of the entity must provide proof of ownership, provide proof of financial responsibility as required by G.S. 20-309, and pay a fee of six dollars ($6.00). A permanent plate issued under this section may be transferred as provided in G.S. 20-78 to a replacement vehicle of the same classification. A permanent registration plate issued under this section must be a distinctive color and bear the word "permanent". In addition, a permanent registration plate issued under subdivision (b)(1) of this section must have distinctive color and design that is readily distinguishable from all other permanent registration plates issued under this section. Every eligible entity that receives a permanent registration plate under this section shall ensure that the permanent registration plate is registered under a single name. That single name shall be the full legal name of the eligible entity.

(b) Permanent Registration Plates. - The Division may issue permanent plates for the following motor vehicles:

(1) A motor vehicle owned by the State or one of its agencies.

(2) A motor vehicle owned by a county, city or town.

(3) A motor vehicle owned by a board of education.

(3a) A motor vehicle that is owned and exclusively operated by a nonprofit corporation authorized under G.S. 115C-218.5 to operate a charter school and identified by a permanent decal or painted marking disclosing the name of the nonprofit corporation. The motor vehicle shall only be used for student transportation and official charter school related activities.

(4) Repealed by Session Laws 2012-159, s. 1, effective July 1, 2012.

(5) A motor vehicle owned by the civil air patrol.

(6) A motor vehicle owned by an incorporated emergency rescue squad.

(7) through (9) Repealed by Session Laws 2012-159, s. 1, effective July 1, 2012.

(10) A motor vehicle owned by a rural fire department, agency, or association.

(11) Repealed by Session Laws 2012-159, s. 1, effective July 1, 2012.

(12) A motor vehicle owned by a local chapter of the American National Red Cross and used for emergency or disaster work.

(13) through (16) Repealed by Session Laws 2012-159, s. 1, effective July 1, 2012.

(17) A motor vehicle owned by a community college. A community college vehicle purchased with State equipment funds shall be issued a permanent registration plate with the same distinctive color and design as a permanent registration plate issued under subdivision (1) of this subsection.

(18) A motor vehicle that is owned and operated by a sanitary district created under Part 2 of Article 2 of Chapter 130A of the General Statutes.

(19) Any motor vehicle owned by a federally recognized tribe.

(20) A motor vehicle owned by a public transportation service provider that is a designated recipient or direct recipient of Federal Transit Administration formula grant funds pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 5311 or 49 U.S.C. 5307.

(c) State Highway Patrol. - In lieu of all other registration requirements, the Commissioner shall each year assign to the State Highway Patrol, upon payment of six dollars ($6.00) per registration plate, a sufficient number of regular registration plates of the same letter prefix and in numerical sequence beginning with number 100 to meet the requirements of the State Highway Patrol for use on Division vehicles assigned to the State Highway Patrol. The commander of the Patrol shall, when such plates are assigned, issue to each member of the State Highway Patrol a registration plate for use upon the Division vehicle assigned to the member pursuant to G.S. 20-190 and assign a registration plate to each Division service vehicle operated by the Patrol. An index of such assignments of registration plates shall be kept at each State Highway Patrol radio station and a copy of it shall be furnished to the registration division of the Division. Information as to the individual assignments of the registration plates shall be made available to the public upon request to the same extent and in the same manner as regular registration information. The commander, when necessary, may reassign registration plates provided that the reassignment shall appear upon the index required under this subsection within 20 days after the reassignment.

(d) Revocation. - The Division may revoke all permanent registration plates issued to eligible entities for vehicles that are 90 days or more past due for a vehicle inspection, as required by G.S. 20-183.4C. This subsection does not limit or restrict the authority of the Division to revoke permanent registration plates pursuant to other applicable law. (1937, c. 407, s. 48; 1939, c. 275; 1949, c. 583, s. 1; 1951, c. 388; 1953, c. 1264; 1955, cc. 368, 382; 1967, c. 284; 1969, c. 800; 1971, c. 460, s. 1; 1975, c. 548; c. 716, s. 5; 1977, c. 370, s. 1; 1979, c. 801, s. 9; 1981 (Reg. Sess., 1982), c. 1159; 1983, c. 593, ss. 1, 2; 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 885; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 1030, s. 11; 1997-443, s. 11A.118(a); 1999-220, s. 3; 2000-159, s. 7; 2012-159, s. 1; 2014-101, s. 6.6(a); 2014-108, s. 3(a); 2015-241, s. 29.40(r); 2016-94, s. 35.16.)