The state Assembly on Friday overwlemingly approved Anthony Portantino’s bill requiring lawmakers who have legislative vanity plates on their personal cars to pay the same fees paid by the general public.
“Most California drivers who want personalized license plates, commonly referred to as vanity plates, have to pay an extra fee,” Portantino wrote in a prepared statement.
“Even veterans pay the state an annual fee. Not California legislators. Current and retired legislators get their personalized license plates almost for free. The bi-partisan support for this reform is greatly appreciated and significant," the La Cañada legislator said of Friday's 63-0 vote in the state Assembly.
Under existing law, current and retired Assemblymembers and State Senators can ask the DMV for a license plate that designates them as a state legislator or retired state legislator. They pay $12 for the initial plate and don’t ever have to pay an annual renewal fee.
In contrast, average Californians, including retired police officers and firefighters, pay $49 to $98 for a special plate and $38 to $78 for annual renewals. The DMV estimates that over the life of the program, it has issued almost 700 California legislator license plates with 116 currently in use.
Portantino's press release went on to say the legislator does not use an Assembly license plate, and has no plans to receive one after he retires.