Iowa Legislature Working to Allow Black Plates for Ham Radio

Jan 16th, 2020 | By | Category: Chatter

More news;  The bill has been moved to the Ways and Means Committee. The Ways and Means Committee considers things where money is involved. With this committee involved, the bill was renumbered as HF2234. Yesterday, February 12, a subcommittee of Ways and Means recommended that the bill be passed.

Yesterday, January 30, the Iowa House of Representatives’ Transportation Committee approved the bill that allows amateur radio operators to have blackout plates.  That means the bill will now go to the House Floor for consideration.  Now is a good time for those who would like to have a ham radio blackout plate to contact their representatives in the Iowa legislature.

January 15th, Representatives Olson, Jones, and Mitchell introduced HF2020 which is a bill to allow amateur radio operators to have Blackout plates.  They are proposing to make the change to the Code section that is specific to radio operator plates, so that is a  good, direct way to make the change.  I am hopeful it will eventually be passed, and encourage Iowa amateurs to contact their legislators.

Here is a link to the bill that was introduced.

Have you seen all the BLACK Iowa license plates lately?  Many of us have and maybe a few thought their callsign would look good on a black background.  So did Keith, AKØQ.   If you’d like to help, please contact Keith.  His note is below.

If you tried to get a ham radio plate with the popular Blackout design, you likely found that the Iowa DOT will not issue that design to an amateur radio operator.  I found that interesting because the very popular Blackout design is available for numbered plates and personalized vanity plates, but not for amateur radio operators.

It is amazing to see the popularity of the Blackout plates.  As of the end of November, the DOT has sold more than 77,000 of the new plate designs, at a price of $35 each. That means the popularity has added more than $2.6 million to the Road Use Fund.   As of August, Iowa had 6,464 ham radio operators and as of November, there were 1,482 amateur radio plates.  So it is likely that someone in the amateur radio community has an interest in the Blackout design on an amateur radio plate.  

Iowa DOT officials point out that a list of special plates in Iowa Code section 321.166(9) does not include amateur radio plates, and therefore does not allow the Blackout design for amateur radio plates. There is another issue that relates to the number zero with a slash through it.  I can explain that further as needed. If the Code of Iowa is changed the problem with the zero should be resolvable by administrative rule.

So it seems that allowing the Blackout design for amateur radio plates should be simple, non-controversial, bipartisan, and appropriate for amateur radio operators.  

If someone has an interest in advocating for the Blackout design for amateur radio operators, I can send some talking points  

Interested operators should contact their State of Iowa senators and representatives.

Write to. Keith_greiner   ….at….