Vehicle Industry Registration Procedures Manual

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Section 22 of 38

Chapter 21: Special Plates

21.065 Congressional Medal of Honor License Plates (VC §5101.6)

A Congressional Medal of Honor (CMOH) recipient may obtain CMOH License Plates for one passenger motor vehicle, motorcycle, or commercial motor vehicle with an unladen weight of 8,000 pounds or less, which they own. CMOH License Plates are not available as a personalized license plate.

The CMOH recipient is exempt from payment of all fees, except fees for duplicates, on that one vehicle only. The vehicle cannot be used for transportation for hire, compensation, or profit.

Vehicles with CMOH License Plates are assigned a 12/31/XX expiration date and must be renewed annually for no fee. The CMOH License Plates may be transferred to another vehicle owned by the recipient.

The fee exemption in CVC §9105 can be used for one vehicle only. An individual who qualifies for more than one type of fee-exempt license plate, such as CMOH and POW License Plates, cannot obtain both license plates.

Original Sequential License Plate Application—The following must be submitted:

  • A completed Special Recognition License Plate Application (REG 17A) form.
  • Registration card in the applicant’s name or the documents required to register the vehicle to the applicant.
  • A copy of the letter given to the applicant when they were awarded the CMOH or a copy of the applicant’s service record.
  • The license plates currently assigned to the vehicle.

Exchange—Existing personalized license plates may not be exchanged to Congressional Medal of Honor License Plates.

Renewal—No additional fee for renewal.

Retention—The license plates cannot be retained.

Reassignment——The following must be submitted:

  • The current registration card in the applicant’s name or the documents required to register the vehicle to the applicant.
  • If the license plates are being retained by the surviving spouse, a Statement of Facts (REG 256) form completed by the surviving spouse stating that they are the spouse of the CMOH License Plate owner and wishes to retain the license plates.

Retention by Surviving Spouse—The surviving spouse of a CMOH License Plate owner may retain the license plates and all license plate privileges, such as the accompanying exemption from registration, license plate reassignment, adding or deleting a co-owner, and license plate replacement fees until the death of that spouse. If there is no surviving spouse, the license plates must be returned to DMV.

Surrender—The CMOH License Plates must be returned to DMV within 60 days of the license plate owner’s or surviving spouse’s death, as appropriate, or by the vehicle registration expiration date, whichever occurs first. If a family member chooses to retain one license plate as an heirloom, only one license plate must be surrendered.

Family Heirloom—A family member (limited to: parent, stepparent, child, stepchild, grandparent, step grandparent, sibling, or stepsibling) may keep one CMOH License Plate as a family heirloom upon the death of the license plate owner and the surviving spouse, if any. The exemption from registration fees is not extended to the family members. Additional CMOH License Plates will not be made for family members as heirlooms.

The following must be submitted:

  • A REG 256 completed by the family member stating their relationship to the CMOH License Plate holder and that they will not use the license plate for registration purposes.