RD689 - Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Armed Services Medal Special License Plate Study Report – December 2019

  • Published: 2019
  • Author: Department of Motor Vehicles
  • Enabling Authority: Request of the House of Delegates (2019)

Executive Summary:

During the 2019 General Assembly Session, Delegate David Yancey, Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, charged the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to convene a working group with relevant stakeholders to study the order of precedence of military medals and how the General Assembly might consider that order when authorizing and setting fees for license plates to be issued to recipients of such awards. Chairman Yancey additionally asked the stakeholders to (1) identify reliable sources of orders of precedence, both for individual service branches and across all branches; (2) identify the roles DMV and Department of Veteran Services (DVS) might play in assisting the General Assembly with determining the applicable order of precedence for any award for which a new plate is proposed; (3) consider options for applying the order of precedence to the structure of plate fees for military medal license plates moving forward; and (4) analyze the implications and options for conforming existing military medal license plates to any updated structure of plate fees.

DMV invited members representing DVS, the Board of Veterans Services, and the Joint Leadership Council of Veterans Service Organizations (JLC) to participate in the study. The stakeholders met once during the summer to discuss the study charge and develop a recommendation for the House Transportation Committee’s consideration. The stakeholders’ discussion included an examination of the fee structure for currently-issued military medal license plates, a review of the distribution of the standard registration fee, a review of the order of precedence of the medals, and a review of the relevant legislative history.

DMV presented four options to the stakeholders for potential recommendation to the House Transportation Committee. Upon review and consideration of the options, the stakeholders recommend that no newly authorized military medal license plates be granted a waiver of either the standard registration fee or the special plate fee. They also agreed that the fees for the Medal of Honor and the Purple Heart should remain unchanged. All newly authorized plates for recipients of medals that fall between the Medal of Honor, ranked first in the order of precedence, and the Purple Heart should be authorized for issuance with a $10 onetime fee and the standard registration fee. Any license plate for recipients of medals falling below the Purple Heart in the order of precedence should be authorized for issuance with a $10 annual fee and the standard registration fee. Additionally, all medals falling within the top ten medals in the order of precedence that are not already authorized for issuance should be authorized.