V C Section 5101.5 Special License Plates Former American Prisoners of War

Special License Plates: Former American Prisoners of War

5101.5.  (a) A person otherwise eligible under this article who is a former American prisoner of war may apply for special license plates for the vehicle under this article. The special license plates assigned to the vehicle shall run in a separate numerical series and contain a replica design of the American Prisoner of War Medal followed by the letters “POW” and four numbers. The special license plates issued under this subdivision also shall contain the following words: “Ex-Prisoner of War”. The department shall, pursuant to this article, reserve and issue the special license plates provided for by this section only to persons who show by satisfactory proof former prisoner-of-war status. A person otherwise issued license plates within this series pursuant to this article prior to January 1, 1982, may retain them

(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), the department, in consultation with the Department of Veterans Affairs and veterans' service organizations, shall design and make available for issuance pursuant to this article a special environmental design license plate for former American prisoners of war who prefer not to have their former status as a “POW” or “Ex-Prisoner of War” identified by words or other markings or symbols. This section is not intended to prohibit individuals eligible for the special license plate from selecting the existing license plate design specified in subdivision (a). The design criteria for a special interest license plate pursuant to this subdivision are as follows:

(1) The license plate for a passenger vehicle, commercial vehicle, or trailer shall provide a space not larger than two inches by three inches to the left of the numerical series and a space not larger than fiveeighths of an inch in height below the numerical series for a distinctive design, decal, or descriptive message as authorized by this subdivision. The license plates shall be issued in sequential numerical order or, pursuant to Section 5103, in a combination of numbers or letters.

(2) The license plate shall not identify “POW” or “Ex-Prisoner of War” by words or other markings or symbols.

(c) Special license plates may be issued pursuant to subdivision (a) only for a vehicle owned or coowned by a former American prisoner of war.

(d) Upon the death of a person issued the special license plates pursuant to this section, his or her surviving spouse may retain the special license plates subject to the conditions set forth in this section. If there is no surviving spouse, the special license plates shall be returned to the department either within 60 days following that death, or upon the expiration date of the vehicle registration, whichever date occurs first. However, in the absence of a surviving spouse, a member of the former prisoner of war's family may retain one of the special license plates as a family heirloom, subject to the conditions set forth in subdivision (i), upon submitting an affidavit to the department agreeing not to attempt to use the special license plates for vehicle registration purposes.

(e) If a surviving spouse who has elected to retain the special license plates as authorized under subdivision (d) dies while in possession of the special license plates, the special license plates shall be returned to the department either within 60 days following that death, or upon the expiration date of the vehicle registration, whichever date occurs first. However, a member of the former prisoner of war's family may retain one of the special license plates as a family heirloom, subject to the conditions set forth in subdivision (i), upon submitting an affidavit to the department agreeing not to attempt to use the special license plates for vehicle registration purposes.

(f) A vehicle exempted from fees by Section 9105 and by Section 10783 of the Revenue and Taxation Code shall lose the exemption upon the death of the former American prisoner of war, except that if a surviving spouse elects to retain the special license plates as authorized under subdivision (d), the exemption pursuant to Section 9105, and Section 10783.2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, shall extend until the death of that spouse.

(g) Sections 5106 and 5108 do not apply to this section.

(h) The department shall recall all former prisoner-of-war special license plates issued pursuant to this section prior to January 1, 1999, and shall issue to the holder of those special license plates, without charge, the revised special license plates authorized by this section.

(i) The special license plates issued under this section are not valid for use for vehicle registration purposes or for the purposes of Section 9105 or Section 10783 or 10783.2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code by a person other than the person issued the special license plates under subdivision (a) and the surviving spouse of that person.

(j) For purposes of this section, “family” means grandparents, stepgrandparents, parents, stepparents, siblings, stepsiblings, children, and stepchildren of the person issued the special license plates under subdivision (a).

Amended Sec. 2, Ch. 357, Stats. 2007. Effective January 1, 2008.
Amended Sec. 2, Ch. 345, Stats. 2010. Effective January 1, 2011.