PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Islanders will soon be able to customize their license plates again.
R.I. Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) spokesperson Paul Grimaldi told 12 News that Rhode Islanders can resume ordering vanity plates in 12 to 18 months.
The state suspended the vanity plate application process in February 2021 after a lawsuit involving an environmentally conscious car owner’s controversial vanity plate.
Back in 2020, Sean Carroll took the state to court after the DMV requested he turn in his plates in response to an anonymous complaint. The DMV gave Carroll an ultimatum: if he didn’t return his “FKGAS” license plate, his car registration would be canceled.
The Tesla owner argued that his license plate is supposed to be read as “fake gas,” though others interpreted it as being profane.
Now staff lawyers continue working on revisions to the regulations, Grimaldi said.
Between fiscal years 2018 and 2021, data from the DMV suggests the vanity plate fee alone generated close to $2.3 million for the state.
Grimaldi said that, from 2016 to when the DMV stopped issuing vanity plates, it averaged 193 new requests each month.