Why Do License Plates Feature The Gold Star Family or Mother in the US
Gold Star Parents, Spouses, Children, and Siblings may qualify for a Gold Star License Plate under RCW 46.18.245.
These plates pay tribute to the parents, partners, kids, and siblings of military personnel who died while serving the country.
Family members who meet the requirements and whose relative died while serving in the US armed forces during one of the following periods are given Gold Star Family license plates:
• a conflict.
• An international terrorist attack that the U.S. Secretary of Defense has designated as an assault on the United States or a friendly foreign country.
• Participating in military operations while serving abroad, including in American colonies, territories, and possessions.
• Members of a force participating in a peacekeeping mission approved by the UN Security Council.
If a registered owner is a qualified family member of a US military service member who passed away in the line of duty or as a result of that service, they may ask the department for special gold star license plates to be used on a vehicle.
The registered owner is required to: Reside in that state.
You must: in order to satisfy the department that the registered owner is a qualified family member
→ A widow;A widower;
→ A biological parent; An adoptive parent; A stepparent;
→ An adult in loco parentis or foster parent;
→ A biological child; An adopted child; or
→ A sibling;
The Blue and Gold Star service flags are two reminders of American service and sacrifice that date back to World War One.
A family member serving in the military during a war is indicated by a blue star. The Gold Star designates a family member who has died in battle.
Businessman and veteran Robert L. Queisser of East Cleveland, who had two sons fighting in World War I, created and patented the Blue Star flag in 1917.
The first patent was granted for Queisser’s design, and the concept gained popularity.
“The mayor of Cleveland, the Chamber of Commerce, and the governor of Ohio has adopted this service flag,” an Ohio congressman announced in the Congressional Record on September 24, 1917. The world ought to be aware of those who sacrifice so much for freedom. A father and mother’s children are the most precious things in the world to them.
There was even a song about Queisser’s concept during World War I called “There’s a Little Blue Star in the Window (and It Means All the World to Me).”
When President Woodrow Wilson agreed to the Women’s Committee of the Council of National Defenses’ proposal in 1918 that mothers who lost a child in the war could wear a gold star on the customary black mourning armband, the Gold Star was born.
In order to signify that the service member had passed away and that their blue star had changed to gold, a Gold Star was inserted inside the Blue Star.
Since President Woodrow Wilson authorized the armbands in the early years, the federal government has supported the meaning of the gold star. After that, a resolution was passed by Congress in 1936 designating the last Sunday in September as “Gold Star Mother’s Day.”
The stars were especially well-liked during World War II, and the majority were made by hand.
The stars also inspired the founding of two charitable organizations: American Gold Star Mothers, Inc., founded in 1928 by a woman who lost a son in World War I, and Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc., which is currently celebrating its 75th anniversary.
Another way for the families of fallen soldiers to publicly honor the sacrifice is with gold star license plates.
The details, requirements, and designs differ from state to state. For instance, in California grandchildren are qualified for the plates, but not in Vermont. Blue star license plates are also available in some states.
Without having to pay any license, plate, or motor vehicle excise taxes for a single motor vehicle. For other motor vehicles, a qualified widow, widower, biological parent, adoptive parent, stepparent, adult in loco parentis, or foster parent applicant may purchase gold star license plates free of charge; however, the applicant is still required to pay all other fees and taxes necessary to register the vehicle.
For an extra $52, you can order personalized plates with a Gold Star background pattern.
A gold star license plate must be provided to applicants who are biological children, adopted children, or siblings:
• Only applies to automobiles owned by qualified applicants; and
• Without paying any license plate fees, but the applicant is still required to pay any additional taxes or fees mandated by law for the registration of the vehicle.
• If a gold star license plate is lost, stolen, broken, vandalized, or destroyed, it must be replaced without charge.
• Upon application to the department, county auditor, or other agent, or subagent, appointed by the director, gold star license plates may be transferred from one vehicle to another vehicle owned by the eligible family member, as described in subsection of this section.
There are registered offices in the majority of US states that accept requests for Gold Star license plates.
U.S. mail or any Driver and Vehicle Services Deputy Registrar office (state by state) are two ways to apply for Gold Star Plates. Standard registration fees apply to vehicles, but there will be no extra cost for the Gold Star Plates or for replacement if the plates are damaged. Applicants will need to submit proof of their eligibility.
The qualified family member’s registered vehicle must have the license plates assigned to it. Only the Special Processing Unit (SPU) at DMV headquarters offers sequential series of Gold Star Family License Plates.
Ask the Department of Veterans Affairs to issue you a letter confirming your qualification for a Gold Star License Plate.
Visit a vehicle licensing office with the Department of Veterans Affairs letter, a Military License Plate Application, a copy of your vehicle registration, and any necessary fees.
♦ Exchange—Existing personalized license plates may be exchanged to personalized Gold Star Family License Plates for a fee.
♦ Renewal—No additional fee for renewal.
♦ Reassignment—An additional fee is required for reassignment of the license plates.
♦ Retention—The license plates cannot be retained.
♦ Transfer of Ownership—The license plates remain with the owner and the transfer is processed as usual. Refer to Chapter 11 for transfer procedures.
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