License plates

(John Hult/South Dakota Searchlight)

Drivers could get opportunity to support wildlife habitat with license plates

BY: - February 1, 2024

PIERRE — South Dakotans may soon be able to purchase a special license plate to support the state’s wildlife habitat conservation efforts. The yet-to-be-designed plates would cost an as-yet undetermined fee that would go to the Game, Fish and Parks Department. The funds would be used to help improve everything from wetlands in the northeast […]

(Getty Images)

State, Minnehaha County agree to pay legal fees after separate First Amendment lawsuit losses

BY: - December 27, 2023

The state will pay the legal bills for a man who won a First Amendment case in federal court that centered on personalized license plates.  Earlier this month, the state of South Dakota agreed to a settlement with Lynn Hart, who had sued the state over its personalized license plate policy with the help of […]

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A personalized license plate requested and eventually approved for South Dakota resident Lynn Hart. (Courtesy of Lynn Hart)

Just a license plate? Not when it comes to our First Amendment Rights

BY: - December 15, 2023

The fight for freedom of speech has been a bedrock of the American Civil Liberties Union’s mission since the organization was founded in 1920, driven by the need to protect the constitutional rights of conscientious objectors and anti-war protesters. Our work quickly spread to combating censorship, securing the right to assembly, and promoting free speech […]

(Courtesy of State of South Dakota)

Merriam-Webster now the arbiter of vanity license plates in South Dakota

BY: - December 13, 2023

A state department will use an online dictionary to determine which words should be disallowed on license plates. The South Dakota Department of Revenue has released its updated vanity plate policy. The update comes after a recent settlement in a lawsuit over First Amendment rights violations embedded in the previous policy. The new policy removes […]

A personalized license plate requested and eventually approved for South Dakota resident Lynn Hart. (Courtesy of Lynn Hart)

‘Good taste and decency’ standard for vanity license plates to be snuffed by settlement

BY: - December 11, 2023

The Department of Revenue’s Motor Vehicle Division will no longer serve as an arbiter of good taste and decency in its review of personalized license plates, according to a settlement agreement filed with the U.S. District Court of South Dakota. The consent decree and stipulation document saying as much was filed late last week in […]

A personalized license plate requested and eventually approved for South Dakota resident Lynn Hart. (Courtesy of Lynn Hart)

ACLU sues state over ‘REZWEED’ vanity license plate

BY: - November 6, 2023

The American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota wants a judge to stop the state from saying no to vanity license plates over “poor taste.” The nonprofit filed its lawsuit in U.S. District Court in South Dakota on behalf of a client named Lynn Hart, who’d asked for and been denied a vanity plate that […]

(Courtesy of State of South Dakota)

ACLU is ‘RZNHELL’ with state over specialized plate denials

BY: - August 29, 2023

It’s OK to be a “HELLCAT,” but not a “HELLBOY.” Don’t tell anybody to “HLDMYBR,” but it’s fine to go on a “BEERRUN.” And don’t say “IH8U,” but “YUH8ME” is acceptable. Those are some of the inconsistencies in state government’s evaluation of specialized vehicle license plate requests, according to the American Civil Liberties Union of […]