Monday, September 12, 2011

Honoring Our Active Duty Troops

Today Representative Vallee and I filed legislation requiring the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) to provide special active duty license plates to Massachusetts residents currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

The proposal would allow full-time active duty military personnel serving in the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard or Air Force to request a distinctive emblem from the RMV designating their branch of service. The emblems – which would be subject to a fee of not more than $35 to cover production costs – would be designed to be affixed to the license plates of private passenger motor vehicles and motorcycles.

Our state has always had a strong legacy of men and women serving our country and protecting our freedoms, and since the terrorist incidents of September 11th, their sacrifices have been substantial. Now, more than ever, it’s important that our state give official recognition to the service men and women who make us proud every day to be Americans. The distinctive license plates created by this proposal will also allow all of us to understand who these brave men and women are, and to offer our gratitude whenever possible.

We are hoping to draw strong bipartisan support for our bill by making it available for co-sponsorship to our colleagues in the House and Senate.

Connecticut recently passed similar legislation. Ohio also allows active duty military personnel to receive special recognition on their license plates. To read the actual text of the bill please click "Read more" below.


“SECTION 1. Section 7 of Chapter 4 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2008 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following paragraph:-

Fifty-ninth, “Active Duty” as used in Section 2 of Chapter 90 shall mean full-time duty in active military service of the army, navy, marine corps, coast guard or air force of the United States, but shall not include active duty being served for the purpose of training as a reservist in the army national guard or air national guard.

SECTION 2. Section 2 of Chapter 90 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2008 Official Edition is hereby amended by inserting, as a new paragraph, after the word “registration.” in line 423 the following language:-

The registrar shall furnish, upon request, to owners of private passenger motor vehicles and motorcycles who are residents of the state and serving in active duty as defined in clause Fifty-nine of section seven of chapter four and upon presentation of evidence deemed satisfactory by the registrar, a distinctive emblem to be affixed to the plate that identifies the branch of the armed services in which such owner serves. The registrar may charge a fee directly attributable to the cost of issuance of such emblem, provided however that this fee shall not exceed $35. Any member of the armed forces who is dishonorably discharged shall return such plates to the registrar not later than thirty days after such discharge. The registrar shall not renew the license plate of a dishonorably discharged armed forces member until confirming that the distinctive emblem is not affixed to the plate.”