The North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles has confirmed that it will no longer issue official license plates bearing the Confederate flag, and those that have such plates will need to replace them upon registration this year.
WTVD-TV in Raleigh reports that the North Carolina DMV's new policy went into effect on Jan. 1. In a statement, North Carolina's Department of Transportation said the plates "have the potential to offend those who view them."
The North Carolina DMV confirmed to the Raleigh News & Observer Monday that the plates — issued in support of the North Carolina Sons Confederate Veterans — will no longer be issued. The DMV told the News & Observer that there are about 2,500 plates currently in circulation.
It will reportedly take about a year to remove the plates from the road. As drivers with the Confederate plates register their cars for another year in 2021, the DMV will inform them that their plates will need to be replaced. The News & Observer reports that those drivers will be issued a "standard plate or a different specialty plate."
The North Carolina Department of Transportation says it has tried to work with the Sons Confederate Veterans to produce a new specialty plate without the Confederate flag.
"Efforts were made, and will continue to be made, to work with the SCV to develop artwork for these specialty plates that does not contain the Confederate battle flag," NCDOT officials told WTVD. "Since these efforts have proven unsuccessful so far, the DMV determined the agency would no longer issue or renew these specialty plates."
In a statement, Sons Confederate Veterans told the News & Observer that they were victims of discrimination.