Currently, Georgia state law governing the registration and licensing of motor vehicles (OCGA 40-2-85.1) provides free vehicle license plates to any Georgia resident on active duty in a combat status and any combat veteran with a discharge from the U.S. Armed Forces under honorable conditions during the following periods of conflict/war: World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Operation Desert Storm, Global War on Terrorism (as defined by Presidential Executive Order 13289, Section 2), Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom. The law also provides the opportunity to anyone whose service during active duty combat resulted in the award of one of 17 qualifying military medals to get a free military medal specialty license plate. There are no registration, manufacturing, or annual fees for these license plates.
However, there are no provisions in current law for Cold War veterans (e.g., for active duty service from August 1975 to December 1979) to obtain license plates to display their military service. House Bill 102, an amendment to OCGA 40-2-85.1, has been introduced to allow any veteran with active duty military service in the U.S. Armed Forces discharged under conditions other than dishonorable to be eligible to receive, upon payment of registration and manufacturing fees, a Special and Distinctive License Plate for Veterans.
The Georgia Department of Veterans Service is grateful to the sponsors of this legislation and fully supports the need for a license plate to cover the periods of non-conflict/war.
The first and second readings of this amendment have already taken place in the Georgia House of Representative. The legislation, as proposed, contains language that requires 1,000 prepaid applications from eligible individuals before any plates will be manufactured or issued. GDVS has coordinated with the Georgia Department of Revenue, which agrees that, with the new method for making license plates using a computer image, there is no need to have 1,000 prepaid applications.
One or more members of the House are willing to eliminate the 1,000 prepaid applications provision. Elimination of this provision will benefit veterans who otherwise are not eligible for any type of recognition of their service to our nation by allowing them to apply for and immediately receive one of these license plates. GDVS urges Georgia’s veterans to contact their state representatives and ask for their support of the legislation for the new veterans license plate (HB 102) and for the removal of the 1,000 prepaid applications requirement.
Contact information for Georgia House of Representatives: