QUESTION: Does the Virginia DMV have the authority to cancel, revoke or repossess the Sons of Confederate Veterans specialty commemorative license plates bearing the Confederate battle flag?
ANSWER: While the federal court ruled that the First Amendment does not require Virginia to continue to issue SCV plates with the organizations logo on the plates, the ruling did not authorize the State or the DMV to cancel, revoke or repossess the SCV plates that had previously been issued by the DMV. The authority to do that must be found in Virginia law and “as provided in” Virginia Code title 46.2.
Va. Code § 46.2-713 provides: “Every license plate and decal issued by the Department shall remain the property of the Department and shall be subject to be revoked, cancelled, and repossessed by the Department at any time as provided in this title.”
Thus, cancellation or repossession of plates is required to be supported by some provision in Title 46.2 of the Virginia Code, which deals generally with Motor Vehicles. No provision of Title 46.2 authorizes the revocation, cancellation, or repossession of license plates under the circumstances presented by this case.
License plates CAN be revoked or cancelled if:
(Updated as of 11/02/2015)