BMV asks court to delay vanity plate sales

Indiana BMV
Indiana BMV

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles has asked the state Supreme Court for permission to continue its suspension on sales of vanity plates until a court case is settled.

The Indiana attorney general’s office announced Monday it had filed a request for a stay order in the case involving a license plate reading “0INK.”

A Marion County judge in May ordered the BMV to resume selling personalized license plates, which it hadn’t done since Jul 2013 due to a lawsuit by a Greenfield police officer who maintained it unconstitutionally refused to renew his plate.

Officer Rodney Vawter and the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, which represented him, had argued that the BMV trespassed on his free speech rights. The judge agreed with Vawter, and told the BMV it had to resume selling vanity plates under certain stipulations. Judge James Osborn also found that the rules used by the BMV were inconsistent.

The BMV appealed to the Indiana Supreme Court, and requested a stay order Friday.

In its motion, the BMV repeated its arguments that Osborn essentially rewrote state law and BMV rules, and that the court order would force it to issue offensive license plates.

The ACLU did not return a phone call seeking comment.

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