Vehicle Industry Registration Procedures Manual

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Section 22 of 38

Chapter 21: Special Plates

21.225 Purple Heart License Plates

21.225 Purple Heart License Plates (CVC §5101.8)

Purple Heart License Plates may be issued to recipients of the Purple Heart at no fee for any automobile, commercial vehicle, trailer, or motorcycle owned by the recipient which is not operated for hire or compensation.

Recipients of Purple Heart recognition awards may obtain multiple Purple Heart license plates (one set for each vehicle the recipient owns or co-owns). The Purple Heart award recipient is not required to have more than one award to order more than one set of license plates.

A Purple Heart recipient who is also a qualified disabled veteran, may request the Disabled Veteran (DV) License Plate fee exemption and issuance of Purple Heart License Plates in lieu of DV License Plates.

In addition to the issuance requirements of the Purple Heart License Plates, the applicant must provide the proof of eligibility documentation required for a disabled veteran as shown in the Disabled Veteran License Plates section in this chapter.

A Disabled Person (DP) Parking Placard must be displayed in the vehicle to receive the DP parking privileges.

The DV License Plate fee exemption may be used for one vehicle only. An applicant who chooses this option cannot have DV License Plates assigned to another vehicle.

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

  • A Special Recognition License Plate Application (REG 17A) form.
  • The current registration card in the applicant’s name or the documents required to register the vehicle to the applicant.
  • One of the following as proof of the applicant’s eligibility:
    — Orders awarding the Purple Heart to the applicant.
    — A copy of the applicant’s service record or discharge papers showing the Purple Heart award.
    — Certification from a Purple Heart organization.
  • The license plates currently assigned to the vehicle.
  • The fees due.

Exchange—Existing personalized license plates may not be exchanged to personalized Purple Heart License Plates.

Renewal/Reassignment—No additional fee is required for renewal or reassignment.

Retention of License Plates by Surviving Spouse—Purple Heart License Plates may be retained by the surviving spouse upon the death of the license plate owner (CVC §5101.8(d)).

Surviving spouse—the following must be submitted:

  • Registration in the applicant’s name or the documents to register the vehicle in the applicant’s name.
  • A Statement of Facts (REG 256) form stating that the spouse of the Purple Heart License Plate owner and wishes to retain the license plates.

Family Heirlooms—A family member (limited to parent, stepparent, child, stepchild, grandparent, stepgrandparent, sibling, and stepsibling) may keep one Purple Heart License Plate as a family heirloom upon the death of the Purple Heart License Plate owner and surviving spouse, if any.

Family member—the following must be submitted:

  • A Statement of Facts (REG 256) stating the relationship to the license plate owner or surviving spouse, the license plate being retained will not be placed on a vehicle, and will be kept as a family heirloom.
  • The license plate not being retained or must write on the REG 256 the disposition of the license plate, if missing.
  • Surrender of License Plates Required—License plates must be surrendered to DMV within 60 days following the death of the Purple Heart License Plate owner or the surviving spouse, as appropriate, or upon the vehicle registration expiration date, whichever occurs first.