Saturday, September 22, 2007

New Alaskan license plate: Low Speed Vehicles

As you may have already noticed, I'm an Alaskan license plate geek. Stephanie has mostly trained me out of talking about it to total strangers at parties, but you, dear reader, are fair game.

So here's what the new Low-Speed Vehicle plate looks like:


Notice that the number is less than 100. This is pretty unusual for Alaskan plates on the road today; only the Prisoner of War and Alaska Childrens' Trust ("KID") plates start at zero.

According to Alaska DMV Standard Operating Procedure No. R-465 (hmm ... I wonder what the other 464 are about?):

"A low-speed vehicle (LSV) or neighborhood electric vehicle (NEV) is a passenger vehicle that meets the following criteria:
  • Four wheels

  • Maximum GVWR of 3,000 pounds

  • Manufactured to be capable of propelling itself

  • Maximum speed of 25 miles an hour

  • Has not been modified to have a maximum speed greater than 25 miles an hour

The SOP goes on to say:
"The operator of a low-speed vehicle is subject to all the traffic and other laws applicable to operators of passenger vehicles. A low-speed vehicle may not be operated on a highway that has a maximum speed of more than 35 miles an hour; however, a low-speed vehicle may cross a highway that has a maximum speed limit of more than 35 miles an hour if the crossing is made at the intersection with a highway that is authorized for low-speed vehicles.

I have yet to spot one in the wild, so I trundled down to the Benson office. The nice folks at the DMV got one out for me for a quick photo.

Now I just need to find someone looking to unload a cheap golf cart ...

2 comments:

Andrew Turnbull said...

The red stripes in the background are certainly an unusual design element. They render the first and last characters as being difficult to read, but perhaps the vehicles in question drive so slowly that legibility from afar won't be a problem!

I also find it a bit interesting that it's a screened graphic design, since Alaska has reverted to full embossing for many other license plate classes recently. Of course, the red stripes wouldn't have been possible to implement any other way.

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