West Virginia: Denied Personalized License Plates

Adam Steinbaugh filed this request with the Department of Transportation of West Virginia.
Est. Completion None
Status
Partially Completed

Communications

From: Adam Steinbaugh

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the West Virginia Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:

With respect to motor vehicle license plates:

1. If one is kept, a copy of the current list of prohibited or automatically denied vanity or personalized license plates.

2. A copy of any list of requested vanity or personalized plates denied in 2021 or 2022.

3. For any denied application for vanity or personalized plates, a copy of the application and any correspondence sent to the applicant. This request is limited to denials after January 1, 2022.

4. If a system is maintained for soliciting or receiving complaints concerning vanity or personalized license plates, a copy of any complaint received in 2021 or 2022.

5. If any vanity or personalized license plates have been revoked since January 1, 2021, any records related to the revocation.

6. A copy of any statute or regulations concerning what combinations of vanity or personalized license plates are permitted or prohibited.

7. A list of all personalized or vanity license plates now in circulation. Alternatively, a list of such plates issued since January 1, 2018.

8. A copy of any directions, guidelines, or training materials concerning review of vanity or personalized plates provided to staff members responsible for reviewing such applications.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 5 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Adam Steinbaugh

From: Department of Transportation

Mr. Steinbaugh,

Good afternoon.

Please find attached the Initial FOIA Response Letter.

Thank you,

Tami Wright, Paralegal
WVDOH - Legal Division
801 Madison Avenue
Huntington, WV 25704
(304) 399-0063

From: Department of Transportation

Mr. Steinbaugh,

Good morning!

I'm following up on your March 2, 2022 FOIA request. I had initially
reached out to the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles concerning your
request. I had not heard back from them. I'm fairly new at processing
FOIA requests and I run across different types of them every day. Well
I've recently learned the WV DMV handles their own FOIA requests, not WV
DOH. I also found out the contact person for the WV DMV who handles the
FOIA requests is Anna Faulkner. Her email address is anna.l.faulkner@wv.gov.
My sincere apologies for the delay. Please feel free to reach out to Ms.
Faulkner, if your FOIA request has not been answered by them already.

Thank you,

Tami Wright, Paralegal
WVDOH - Legal Division
801 Madison Avenue
Huntington, WV 25704
(304) 399-0063

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Wright, Tami G <tami.g.wright@wv.gov>
Date: Mon, Mar 14, 2022 at 2:28 PM
Subject: 03.02.22 Steinbaugh Initial FOIA Response
To: <requests@muckrock.com>

Mr. Steinbaugh,

Good afternoon.

Please find attached the Initial FOIA Response Letter.

Thank you,

Tami Wright, Paralegal
WVDOH - Legal Division
801 Madison Avenue
Huntington, WV 25704
(304) 399-0063

From: Department of Transportation

Good afternoon. This email is in response to your FOIA request dated May
5, 2022. You asked for the following information:

1. If one is kept, a copy of the current list of prohibited or
automatically denied vanity or personalized license plates.

2. A copy of any list of requested vanity or personalized plates denied in
2021 or 2022.

3. For any denied application for vanity or personalized plates, a copy of
the application and any correspondence sent to the applicant. This request
is limited to denials after January 1, 2022.

4. If a system is maintained for soliciting or receiving complaints
concerning vanity or personalized license plates, a copy of any complaint
received in 2021 or 2022.

5. If any vanity or personalized license plates have been revoked since
January 1, 2021, any records related to the revocation.

6. A copy of any statute or regulations concerning what combinations of
vanity or personalized license plates are permitted or prohibited.

7. A list of all personalized or vanity license plates now in circulation.
Alternatively, a list of such plates issued since January 1, 2018.

8. A copy of any directions, guidelines, or training materials concerning
review of vanity or personalized plates provided to staff members
responsible for reviewing such applications.
Here is our response:

1.

The WV DMV does not keep a list of prohibited or automatically denied
personalized license plates.
2.

The WV DMV does not keep a list of denied vanity or personalized plates.
3.

Any application for a personalized plate, denied or accepted, is
exempted from disclosure under the Uniform Motor Vehicle Record Disclosure
Act, W. Va. Code § 17A-2A-1 et seq., prohibits the disclosure of motor
vehicle records, which includes applications for license plates.
4.

The same statute would exempt from disclosure any complaint regarding a
personalized plate.
5.

The WV DMV does not keep a list of revoked registration plates.
6.

W. Va. Code §17A-3-14 addresses personalized registration plates.
7.

The WV DMV does not keep a list of personalized registration plates.
8.

There are no written guidelines or directions regarding review of
registration plate requests.

The WV DMV has fulfilled its obligation under the Freedom of Information
Act. If you wish to contest any part of this response, you may seek
injunctive or declaratory relief in the Circuit Court of Kanawha County.
--
Anna L. Faulkner
Assistant General Counsel
WV Division of Motor Vehicles
5707 MacCorkle Avenue SE
Post Office Box 17200
Charleston, West Virginia 25317
(304) 926-0708

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