US License Plates Feature The Gold Star Family
US License Plates Feature The Gold Star Mother: Cathy Mullins, whose son, Brandon Scott Mullins, was killed in Afghanistan in 2011, said despite the restrictions on the license plate, they’re still available for numerous residents.

What is the Gold Star License Plates?

Gold Star Parents, Spouses, Children, and Siblings may qualify for a Gold Star License Plate under RCW 46.18.245.

These plates honor parents, spouses, children, and siblings of military men and women who lost their lives in service to America.

Gold Star Family License Plates are issued to qualified family members whose relative lost their life in the line of duty while serving in the Armed Forces of the United States (U.S.) during one of the following:

• Wartime.

• An international terrorist attack that has been recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Defense as an attack against the U.S., or to a foreign nation friendly to the U.S.

• Military operations while serving outside the U.S., including commonwealths, territories, and possessions of the U.S.

• Personnel assigned to a force engaged in a peacekeeping operation authorized by the United Nations Security Council.

A registered owner who is an eligible family member of a member of the United States armed forces who died while in service to his or her country, or as a result of his or her service, may apply to the department for special gold star license plates for use on a motor vehicle.

The registered owner must: Be a resident of that state.

Provide proof to the satisfaction of the department that the registered owner is an eligible family member, which includes:

→ 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;

History and Custom of the Gold Star License Plates

What is the first Gold Star License Plates in the US?

The First World War provide two symbols of American service and sacrifice that endure to this day -- the Blue and Gold Star service flags.

The Blue Star signifies that a family member is serving in the military during wartime. The Gold Star indicates that a family member has been lost to war.

The Blue Star banner was first, and was designed and patented in 1917 by businessman and veteran Robert L. Queisser, of East Cleveland, who had two sons serving overseas during World War I.

Queisser's design was the first to receive a patent, and the idea caught on with the public.

On Sept. 24, 1917, an Ohio congressman read into the Congressional Record: "The mayor of Cleveland, the Chamber of Commerce and the governor of Ohio has adopted this service flag. The world should know of those who give so much for liberty. The dearest thing in all the world to a father and mother are their children."

Queisser's idea was even the subject of a song during World War I, "There's a Little Blue Star in the Window (and It Means All the World to Me)."

The Gold Star was created in 1918 when President Woodrow Wilson approved a suggestion made by the Women's Committee of the Council of National Defenses that mothers who lost a child in the war could wear a gold star on the traditional black mourning armband.

That led to placing a Gold Star inside the Blue Star, indicating that the service member had died, and their blue star had turned to gold.

The Gold Star concept began during World War I when British mother Grace Darling Siebold began wearing a gold star following the death of her son in aerial combat. The Gold Star Mother’s Coalition was born of her simple act, and the single gold star became a recognizable symbol for those grieving a child lost in military service. Gold Star license plates are available most states.

When did Federal Government has Endorsed the Gold Star?

The federal government has endorsed the gold star’s symbolism since its early days, when President Woodrow Wilson approved the armbands. Then, in 1936, Congress passed a resolution to make the last Sunday in September “Gold Star Mother’s Day”.

The stars were particularly popular during World War II, and most were handmade.

The stars also led to creation of two nonprofit service organizations -- Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc., celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, and American Gold Star Mothers, Inc., founded in 1928 and organized by a woman who lost a son during World War I.

Gold star license plates are simply another way for families of fallen soldiers to publicly commemorate the sacrifice.

Designs, qualifications, and other details vary by state. Grandchildren, for example, are eligible for the plates in California but not in Vermont. Some states offer blue star license plates, too.

Check More: Why Do Many US Luxury Cars Have Montana License Plates?

No Fee: Gold Star License Plates

Why Do Many US License Plates Feature The Gold Star Family or Mother
License Plates Feature The Gold Star Family

Without payment of any vehicle license fees, license plate fees, and motor vehicle excise taxes for one motor vehicle. For other motor vehicles, a qualified widow, a widower, a biological parent, an adoptive parent, a stepparent, or an adult in loco parentis or foster parent applicant may purchase gold star license plates without payment of any license plate fees, but the applicant must pay all other fees and taxes required by law for registering the motor vehicle.

You may get personalized plates with a Gold Star background design for an additional fee: Additional $52.

For a biological child, an adopted child, or a sibling applicant, a gold star license plate must be issued:

• Only for motor vehicles owned by qualifying applicants; and

• Without payment of any license plate fees but the applicant must pay all other fees and taxes required by law for registering the motor vehicle.

• Gold star license plates must be replaced, free of charge, if the license plates become lost, stolen, damaged, defaced, or destroyed.

• Gold star license plates may be transferred from one motor vehicle to another motor vehicle owned by the eligible family member, as described in subsection of this section, upon application to the department, county auditor or other agent, or subagent appointed by the director.

How to Apply A Gold Star License Plate?

Most states in the US have registered offices to accept requests for Gold Star License Plates.

Applications for Gold Star Plates can be made by U.S. mail or at any Driver and Vehicle Services Deputy Registrar office (state by state. Vehicles are subject to standard registration fees, but there will be no additional charge for the Gold Star Plates or for replacement, should plates become damaged. Applicants will be required to provide documentation of eligibility.

The license plates must be assigned to a registered vehicle owned by the qualified family member. Gold Star Family License Plates are available in a sequential series only through the Special Processing Unit (SPU) at DMV headquarters.

Request a letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs certifying you are eligible for a Gold Star License Plate.

Take the letter from Department of Veterans Affairs, a Military License Plate Application, a copy of your vehicle registration, and any applicable fees to a vehicle licensing office.

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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