A Banner Day in Sacramento for Veterans’ License Plates

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed two bills affecting license plates and veterans August 24.

One measure attempts to increase sales by allowing the Department of Veterans Affairs to redesign the veterans’ organizations license plates.

The other permits family members of dead persons with Purple Heart of Legion of Honor license plates to keep the plates, rather than returning them to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Veterans’ plates have the word “veteran” written along the bottom of the plate and include a decal on the left side of the plate for one of over 100 sponsoring veterans’ organizations, such as the American Legion or the National Guard.

veteranT_150The plates cost  $30 upfront, $30 annually to renew, $35 to replace the plates if they become damaged, $10 to replace a damaged decal and $40 to personalize the plates.

This on top of the $34 registration fee, $22 surcharge to hire California Highway Patrol officers and the vehicle license fees equal to 1.15 percent of a vehicle’s value every Californian pays.

The new law, AB 1908 by Assemblyman Paul Cook, a Yucaipa Republican and U.S. Marine Corps colonel, would let the Department of veterans Affairs modify the design of the plates.

The Department of Motor Vehicles can’t issue the new plates until it has used up current inventory and must create a portal on its website by July 2011 to sell the plates electronically.

Cook contends the bill will sell more plates, increasing the revenue from their sale, which benefits county veteran groups.

The second bill allows a surviving member of a dead Purple Heart or Legion of Valor recipient to keep one of the special license plates issued to them by the state.

Purple Heart recipients can apply for special plates, which display the words “Combat Wounded” and include the letters “PH” as part of the series and the Purple Heart insignia.

Currently, upon the death of the Purple Heart recipient, the family must surrender the plate to the state within 60 days or expiration of the registration, whichever comes first.

The bill, SB 1295 by Sen. Bob Dutton, a Rancho Cucamonga Republican, allows the family to save the plate as an heirloom, a courtesy currently extended to Congressional Medal of Honor veterans.


August 24 is the 55th day of the new fiscal year for which no budget has been enacted. The Legislature is required by the constitution to send the governor a spending plan by June 15, two weeks before the start of the fiscal year.



No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment