(a) The commissioner shall issue critical habitat plates to an applicant who:
(1) is a registered owner of a passenger automobile or recreational vehicle;
(2) pays a fee in the amount specified for special plates under section 168.12, subdivision 5;
(3) pays the registration tax required under section 168.013;
(4) pays the fees required under this chapter;
(5) contributes a minimum of $30 annually to the Minnesota critical habitat private sector matching account established in section 84.943; and
(6) complies with this chapter and rules governing registration of motor vehicles and licensing of drivers.
(b) The critical habitat plate application must indicate that the annual contribution specified under paragraph (a), clause (5), is a minimum contribution to receive the plate and that the applicant may make an additional contribution to the account.
(c) Owners of recreational vehicles under paragraph (a), clause (1), are eligible only for special critical habitat license plates for which the designs are selected under subdivision 2, on or after January 1, 2006.
(d) Special critical habitat license plates, the designs for which are selected under subdivision 2, on or after January 1, 2006, may be personalized according to section 168.12, subdivision 2a.
After consultation with interested groups, the commissioner of natural resources and the commissioner shall jointly select a suitable symbol for use by the commissioner to design the plates.
Contributions under this section must not be refunded.
Notwithstanding section 168.12, subdivision 1, on payment of a transfer fee of $5, plates issued under this section may be transferred to another passenger automobile registered to the person to whom the plates were issued.
Contributions under subdivision 1, paragraph (a), clause (5), must be paid to the commissioner and credited to the Minnesota critical habitat private sector matching account established in section 84.943. The fees collected under this section must be deposited in the vehicle services operating account of the special revenue fund under section 299A.705.
The commissioner shall maintain a record of the number of plates issued under this section.