PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ A push to change Rhode Island’s wave license plate has been renewed for the seventh year in a row.
Sen. Lou DiPalma, D-Little Compton, tells Eyewitness News the current plate design debuted in 1996 and was supposed to be replaced in 2006. The state’s past three governors have continued to postpone the redesign, according to DiPalma.
He said the proposed change has nothing to do with its look and that his concern is how easily drivers can break the law.
With a new and distinct design, Dipalma believes police would be able to easily identify expired license plates and tags.
“That affects all of us and it’s not right for Rhode Island,” he said.
DiPalma said two new design options were sent to him and he personally dropped them off to Gov. Gina Raimondo.
A spokesperson for Raimondo said public safety officials are reviewing potential modifications but added that reissuing license plates is “not a top priority for the governor.”
“It places an inconvenience and an unnecessary cost on hundreds of thousands of Rhode Islanders, and it will cost state taxpayers millions of dollars better spent on other critical programs,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
DiPalma said a new set of plates would cost drivers $8, but he’s concerned the June 1 deadline is approaching too fast for a design to be decided upon.
“I’m concerned we aren’t going to hit that date,” he said. “In Rhode Island, general law says we need to. We can’t choose to follow some laws and not others.”
DiPalma explained that if a new license plate design is chosen, drivers won’t have to change their plates right away. He said the plates would need to be changed once the two-year registration expires.