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DMV hits snag with James River Park plates

Phil Riggan

March 20, 2012 2:57pm

Remember when you ordered a special James River Park license plate 15 months ago (some 27 months or more)? People who originally ordered their plates were recently informed that they should expect the plates within a month, but that date has been pushed back indefinitely.

According to Carolyn Easley of the Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles, the delay is due to a “vendor error” and that vendor has to order more sheeting to make the license plates. At this time, there is no time frame for the plates due to that delay.

“This may not comfort you any, but you were not the only one affected by this same issue,” Easley emailed to a contact with the volunteer group the Friends of the James River Park to inform them of the delay. “We’re not involved with how the sheeting gets here, it is really up to the vendor.”

The Virginia General Assembly in the 2011 session passed a law approving the James River Park System plates which took effect July 1, 2011. Then the DMV will look everything over, confirm the design, sync car registrations, and actually start making the plates so those who signed up should get them by the end of 2011. The FOJRP will need hundreds more before the non-profit group begins to benefit from the plates through registrations — 1,000 plates is the magic threshold.

When it comes to specialty plates like the new James River Park plates, “all plates are considered ‘out of stock’ items, because it needs to be special orders,” Easley said.

Once the sheets do arrive to DMV, the two-week process to create the original 378 orders begins. New customers would hopefully be able to order new plates two weeks after the sheets arrive and the DMV can make them available to the public. If you have not signed up for a James River Park plate, the DMV and their website will only be able to begin taking those orders once the original orders are completed, Easley said.

There is an estimated 9-month period for new orders. July 1, 2011 was the authorization date, usually takes 9-months to implementation, which Would have been April 1. Easley said that technically the plates aren’t late yet because of those parameters, but does not expect them to be ready by that date.

About Phil Riggan

He's been a part of Richmond's outdoors since moving to Richmond in 1988. Earned a master’s degree in Urban Planning at VCU in 2015 with a focus on the environment, parks, transportation and nonprofits — largely due to his dedication to becoming part of the solution to advocate for outdoor initiatives, the James River and Richmond’s great parks and recreational amenities. Now works as a transportation planner with the Richmond Regional Transportation Planning Organization, focusing primarily on bike/ped planning.