2007 -- H 5135
A N A C T
RELATING TO MOTOR AND OTHER VEHICLES -- REGISTRATION OF VEHICLES
Introduced By: Representatives Carter, Scott, Rose, Gallison, and Malik
Date Introduced: January 18, 2007
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
SECTION 1. Section 31-3-53 of the General Laws in Chapter 31-3 entitled "Registration
of Vehicles" is hereby amended to read as follows:
31-3-53. Veterans' plates. -- (a) The registrar of motor vehicles shall issue for any motor
vehicle eligible for registration as an automobile, or for any motorcycle eligible for registration as
a motorcycle, or for a commercial vehicle having a gross weight of ten thousand one pounds
(10,001 lbs.) or less, plates designated as "Veteran", "Purple Heart", and "Ex-POW" upon
application on proper forms furnished by the administrator of the division of motor vehicles to
veterans. Gold Star parents shall also be eligible for plates designated as "Veteran".
(b) The special plates designated "Veteran" shall be designed as follows;
(1) Letters and numbers shall be blue in a white background with the words "Rhode
Island" clearly visible at the top center of the plate and the word "Veteran" visible at the bottom
center of the plate.
(2) The background will be a red, white and blue waving American Flag.
(3) On the top right corner will be a decal with the military branch of the service in
which the Veteran served (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Merchant Marines, and
Gold Star Parent).
(c) The applicant shall be required to pay a service charge of twenty dollars ($20.00) and
a transfer charge of five dollars ($5.00) for each plate.
(d) The applicant shall be entitled to a plate for each vehicle owned by the applicant
upon payment of an additional service charge and/or transfer charge for each vehicle.
(e) The owner of a motor vehicle eligible for registration as a commercial vehicle and
having a gross weight of ten thousand one pounds (10,001 lbs.) or less that is issued veteran
plates shall continue to pay the appropriate commercial registration fee for those plates. The
owner of a motor vehicle eligible for registration as a commercial vehicle having a gross weight
of six thousand three hundred pounds (6,300 lbs.) but not more than ten thousand one pounds
(10,001 lbs.) shall sign an affidavit at the time of application for said plates stating that the
vehicle is to be used for personal use only.
(f) For the purposes of this section, a "veteran" shall be defined as any person who has
served on active duty in the armed forces of the United States. The term "veteran" shall also
include members of the National Guard and Reserves: (1) called to active duty authorized by the
President of the United States or the Secretary of Defense; or (2) who have twenty (20) years of
service with a letter and record of separation of service. Upon the death of the holder of any
veteran plates, the plates shall be transferred to the surviving spouse for the spouse's lifetime until
he or she remarries.
(g) The "veteran" described in subsection (f) must have been honorably discharged from
the armed forces of this nation in order to receive plates pursuant to this section and, for purposes
of this section, a medical discharge or a general discharge shall be deemed an honorable
(h) For the purpose of this section, "Gold Star Parent" means a person who has lost a son
or a daughter as a result of service with the armed forces of the United States of America;
provided, the death was determined to be in the line of duty.
(i) Veterans who have served in multiple conflicts are entitled to be issued, veterans'
plates equal to the number of conflicts he or she served in; provided, the plates are limited to the
number of vehicles owned by the veteran.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.