A settlement in a recent lawsuit filed against the South Dakota Department of Revenue has forced the state agency to introduce a new personalized license plate policy.

In November, the American Civil Liberties Union, on behalf of South Dakota resident Lyndon Hart, filed a lawsuit after Hart's 2022 application to the Motor Vehicle Division for a vanity plate reading 'REZWEED' was denied when officials said it was 'in bad taste.' Hart owns a business called Rez Weed and intends to use the personalized plate to promote it.

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Last week (December 8), U.S. District Court Judge Roberto Lange ruled that the section of the law allowing for denial of personalized plates based on the decency clause is 'unconstitutional on its face and as applied to the plaintiff.'

The state's new policy does not use the 'offensive to good taste and decency' standard and will allow previously denied requests for personalized plates to be resubmitted.

Applicants can now go to SDCcars.org and click on 'CK A PL8' to check the availability of specific plate options.

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