Montana Code Annotated 2013

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     61-3-458. Special plates for military personnel, veterans, spouses, and gold star families. (1) (a) Active military personnel, veterans, or the surviving spouse of an eligible veteran, if the spouse has not remarried, may be issued special military or veteran license plates as provided in this section.
     (b) As provided in subsection (3), family members of a member of the U.S. armed forces who are eligible for or who have received:
     (i) a "Gold Star Lapel Button" may be issued special gold star family license plates; and
     (ii) a "Next-of-Kin of Deceased Personnel Lapel Button" may be issued special next-of-kin license plates.
     (c) Subject to the provisions of 61-3-332 and except as otherwise provided in this chapter, special license plates issued pursuant to this section must be numbered in sets of two with a different number on each set and must be properly displayed as provided in 61-3-301. Special military, veteran, gold star family, or next-of-kin license plates may not be issued for a quadricycle, semitrailer, or pole trailer. Special military, veteran, gold star family, or next-of-kin license plates bearing a wheelchair as the symbol of a person with a disability may be issued to a person who meets the qualifications under 61-3-332(9) and this section. Special military or veteran license plates may be issued for a motorcycle pursuant to 61-3-414.
     (2) (a) Upon application, after paying all applicable motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, or pole trailer registration fees and special license plate fees and providing an official certificate from the applicant's unit commander verifying the individual's eligibility and authorizing the department to issue the plates to the individual, eligible military personnel may be issued one set of special military license plates as provided in this subsection (2).
     (b) A member of the Montana national guard who is a state resident may be issued special license plates with a design or decal displaying the letters "NG". However, the member shall surrender the plates to the department when the member becomes ineligible.
     (c) A member of the reserve armed forces of the United States who is a state resident may be issued special license plates according to the member's branch of service verified in the application with a design or decal displaying one of the following: United States army reserve, AR (symbol); United States naval reserve, NR (anchor); United States air force reserve, AFR (symbol); or United States marine corps reserve, MCR (globe and anchor). However, the member shall surrender the plates to the department when the member becomes ineligible.
     (d) An active member of the regular armed forces of the United States who is a state resident may be issued special license plates inscribed with a symbol signifying the United States army, United States navy, United States air force, United States marine corps, or United States coast guard, according to the member's branch of service verified in the application. However, the member shall surrender the plates to the department upon becoming ineligible.
     (3) Upon application, after paying all applicable motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, or pole trailer registration fees and special license plate fees and:
     (a) providing a department of defense form 3 (DD Form 3) or its successor or documents showing the person's eligibility for a "Gold Star Lapel Button", a family member of a member of the U.S. armed services who is eligible to receive or who has received a "Gold Star Lapel Button" as provided in Public Law 534, 89th congress, may be issued special license plates inscribed with a blue-bordered gold star with the words "Gold Star Family" inscribed beneath the registration number; or
     (b) providing a department of defense form 1300 (DD Form 1300) or its successor or documents showing the person's eligibility for a "Next-of-Kin of Deceased Personnel Lapel Button", a family member of a member of the U.S. armed services who is eligible to receive or who has received a "Next-of-Kin of Deceased Personnel Lapel Button" as provided in 32 CFR 578.63 may be issued special next-of-kin license plates inscribed as determined by the department in consultation with the Montana department of military affairs.
     (4) (a) Upon application, after presenting proper identification and a department of defense form 214 (DD-214) or its successor or documents showing an other-than-dishonorable discharge or a reenlistment verifying the applicant's eligibility and paying the veterans' cemetery fee specified in 61-3-459 and all applicable motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, or pole trailer registration fees under this chapter, subject to the provisions of 61-3-460, an eligible veteran must be issued any set and more than one set of the special license plates provided for in this subsection (4) that the member requests and is eligible to receive.
     (b) A veteran may be issued special license plates displaying the letters "DV", which entitles the veteran to the parking privileges allowed to a person with a special parking permit issued under Title 49, chapter 4, part 3, if the veteran:
     (i) has been awarded the purple heart and has been rated by the U.S. department of veterans affairs as 50% or more disabled because of a service-connected injury; or
     (ii) is currently rated 100% disabled or is paid at the 100% disabled rate by the U.S. department of veterans affairs for a service-connected disability.
     (c) A veteran who has been awarded the purple heart may be issued special license plates with the purple heart decal displaying the words "combat wounded".
     (d) A veteran who was captured and held prisoner by the military force of a foreign nation may be issued special license plates with a design or decal displaying the words "ex-prisoner of war" or an abbreviation that the department considers appropriate.
     (e) If the veteran was a member of the United States armed forces on December 7, 1941, and during the hours of 7:55 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. (Hawaii time) was on station at Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu or was offshore from Pearl Harbor at a distance of not more than 3 miles, the veteran may be issued special license plates designed to show that the veteran is a survivor of the Pearl Harbor attack.
     (f) A person who is a member of the legion of valor may be issued special plates displaying a design or decal depicting the recognized legion of valor medallion.
     (g) A veteran may be issued special license plates displaying the word "VETERAN" and a symbol signifying the United States army, United States navy, United States air force, United States marine corps, or United States coast guard, according to the veteran's service record verified in the application.
     (h) A member or a former member of the Montana national guard eligible to receive a military retirement may be issued special license plates displaying the Montana national guard insignia and the words "National Guard veteran".
     (i) A veteran who qualifies under subsections (4)(b) and (4)(c) may be issued special combination license plates displaying the letters "DV" and displaying a purple heart decal with the words "combat wounded". A person who receives the combination plates is entitled to the same parking privileges as provided in subsection (4)(b).
     (5) Upon request, after paying the veterans' cemetery fee provided in 61-3-459 and all applicable vehicle registration fees under this chapter, subject to the provisions of 61-3-460, the surviving spouse of an eligible veteran, if the spouse has not remarried, may retain the special license plates issued to the deceased veteran, except the special "DV" plates provided for under subsection (4)(b) or the combination plates provided for in subsection (4)(i).
     (6) For purposes of this section, "veteran" has the meaning provided in 10-2-101.

     History: En. Sec. 1, Ch. 399, L. 2003; amd. Sec. 102, Ch. 542, L. 2005; amd. Sec. 83, Ch. 596, L. 2005; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 37, L. 2007; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 59, L. 2007; amd. Sec. 5, Ch. 233, L. 2009; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 337, L. 2009; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 219, L. 2013.

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