Amended in Assembly April 24, 2013

California Legislature—2013–14 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 244

Introduced by Assembly Member Bonilla

February 6, 2013

An act to amend Sectionbegin delete 5069end deletebegin insert 5156end insert ofbegin delete, and to add Section 5068.5 to,end delete the Vehicle Code, relating to vehicles.


AB 244, as amended, Bonilla. Vehicles: license plates: veterans.

Existing law requires the Department of Motor Vehiclesbegin insert (DMV)end insert to issue special license plates under a special interest license plate program, as specified, and authorizes organizations, including veterans’ organizations, to participate in that program. Existing law authorizes any person who is the registered owner or lessee of a vehicle to apply for a special interest license plate that has a distinctive design or decal that honors all veterans or veterans who served in a particular war or armed conflict. Under existing law, these special interest license plates are subject to fees for issuance, renewal, or personalization that are additional to those required for nonspecialized license plates. Existing law requires that the revenue from those additional fees, less thebegin delete department’send deletebegin insert DMV’send insert costs, be deposited in the Veterans Service Office Fund, and further requires that money in the Veterans Service Office Fund be available, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to the Department of Veterans Affairs for allocation and disbursement to counties for the operation of county veterans service offices.

begin insert

Existing law also establishes a specialized license plate program and requires the DMV to issue specialized license plates to a sponsoring state agency that meets certain requirements. Existing law requires that DMV charge specified additional fees for the issuance, renewal, or transfer of specialized license plates, and requires that these additional fees, less the DMV’s administrative costs, be deposited in the Specialized License Plate Fund for appropriation and allocation to each sponsoring state agency, as specified.

end insert

This bill wouldbegin delete additionally authorize a veterans’ organization to participate in a special interest license plate program to provide special license plates to veterans of the United States Armed Forces. The bill would prohibit an applicant from being issued these special license plates unless he or she establishes, by satisfactory proof, that he or she is a veteran, except as specified. The bill would require that these special interestend deletebegin insert require the Department of Veterans Affairs to apply to the DMV to sponsor a veterans specialized license plate, and would require the DMV to issue the veterans specialized license plates if the Department of Veteran’s Affairs meets the above-described requirements. The bill would require that theseend insert license plates be subject to the additional fees described above, and that the revenue from those additional fees, less the department’s costs, be deposited in the Veterans Service Office Fund.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1begin insert

begin insertSECTION 1.end insert  

end insert

begin insertSection 5156 of the end insertbegin insertVehicle Codeend insertbegin insert is amended to
2read:end insert



(a) (1) A state agency may apply to the department to
4sponsor a specialized license plate program, and the department
5shall issue specialized license plates for that program, if the agency
6complies with all of the requirements of this article.

7(2) The department shall not issue specialized license plates to
8a state agency for a vehicle that is exempt from the payment of
9registration fees pursuant to Section 9101 or 9103.

10(b) Except as provided in subdivision (d), the department shall
11not establish a specialized license plate program for an agency
12until the department has received not less than 7,500 applications
13for that agency’s specialized license plates. The agency shall collect
14and hold applications for the plates. Once the agency has received
15at least 7,500 applications, it shall submit the applications, along
16with the necessary fees, to the department. The department shall
P3    1not issue a specialized license plate until the agency has received
2and submitted to the department not less than 7,500 applications
3for that particular specialized license plate within the time period
4prescribed in this section. Advance payment to the department by
5the agency representing the department’s estimated or actual
6administrative costs associated with the issuance of a particular
7specialized license plate shall not constitute compliance with this
8requirement. The agency shall have 12 months, following the date
9of approval of the agency’s initial application to sponsor a
10specialized license plate program, to receive the required number
11of applications. If, after that 12 months, 7,500 applications have
12not been received, the agency shall immediately do either of the

14(1) Refund to all applicants all fees or deposits that have been

16(2) Contact the department to indicate the agency’s intent to
17undertake collection of additional applications and fees or deposits
18for an additional period, not to exceed 12 months, in order to obtain
19the minimum 7,500 applications. If the agency elects to exercise
20the option under this subparagraph, it shall contact each applicant
21who has submitted an application with the appropriate fees or
22deposits to determine if the applicant wishes a refund of fees or
23deposits or requests the continuance of the holding of the
24application and fees or deposits until that time that the agency has
25received 7,500 applications. The agency shall refund the fees or
26deposits to an applicant so requesting. The agency shall not collect
27and hold applications for a period exceeding 24 months following
28 the date of approval of the agency’s initial application to sponsor
29a specialized license plate program.

30(c) (1) If the number of outstanding and valid specialized license
31plates in a particular program, except as provided in subdivision
32(d), provided for in this article is less than 7,500, the department
33shall notify the sponsoring agency of that fact and shall inform the
34agency that if that number is less than 7,500 one year from the
35date of that notification, the department will no longer issue or
36replace those specialized license plates.

37(2) Those particular specialized license plates that were issued
38prior to the discontinuation provided by paragraph (1) may continue
39to be used and attached to the vehicle for which they were issued
40and may be renewed, retained, or transferred pursuant to this code.

P4    1(d) (1) The Department of Veterans Affairs may sponsor a Gold
2Star Family specialized license plate program and the department
3may establish this specialized license plate program in the absence
4of 7,500 paid applications as provided in subdivision (d) of Section

6(2) The Department of Veterans Affairs shall, upon receiving
7proof of eligibility from an applicant, authorize the department to
8issue Gold Star Family specialized license plates for a vehicle
9owned by an eligible family member of a member of the Armed
10Forces of the United States who was killed in the line of duty while
11on active duty during wartime service, or during an international
12terrorist attack that has been recognized by the United States
13Secretary of Defense as an attack against the United States or a
14foreign nation friendly to the United States, or during military
15operations while serving outside the United States, including
16 commonwealths, territories, and possessions of the United States,
17or as part of a peacekeeping force, which includes personnel
18assigned to a force engaged in a peacekeeping operation authorized
19by the United Nations Security Council. An eligible family member
20is defined as all of the following:

21(A) A person who is otherwise eligible under this article to
22register a motor vehicle.

23(B) A person who shows proof from the United States
24Department of Veterans Affairs or the Department of Defense that
25the member who was in the Armed Forces of the United States
26was killed in the line of duty while on active duty in the military.

27(C) A person who bears, and shows proof satisfactory to the
28Department of Veterans Affairs of, one of the following
29relationships to the member of the Armed Forces killed in the line
30of duty while serving on active duty:

31(i) Widow.

32(ii) Widower.

33(iii) Biological parent.

34(iv) Adoptive parent.

35(v) Stepparent.

36(vi) Foster parent in loco parentis.

37(vii) Biological child.

38(viii) Adoptive child.

39(ix) Stepchild.

40(x) Sibling.

P5    1(xi) Half-sibling.

2(xii) Grandparent.

3(xiii) Grandchild.

4(3) Upon the death of a person issued a Gold Star Family
5specialized license plate, the license plate shall be transferred to
6the surviving spouse, if he or she requests, or shall be returned to
7the department within 60 days after the death of the plateholder
8or upon the expiration of the vehicle registration, whichever occurs

begin insert

10(e) (1) The Department of Veterans Affairs shall apply to the
11department to sponsor a veterans specialized license plate
12program, and the department shall issue license plates for that
13program if the Department of Veterans Affairs meets the
14requirements prescribed by this section.

end insert
begin insert

15(2) Notwithstanding Section 5155, the design of the veterans
16 specialized license plate shall be identical to the design of the
17veterans special interest license plate issued pursuant to Section
185068 on or before January 1, 2010.

end insert
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19(3) Notwithstanding subdivision (c) of Section 5157, revenue
20derived from the additional fees prescribed by Section 5157 for
21the issuance, renewal, or transfer of the veterans specialized
22license plates shall be deposited, after the department deducts its
23administrative costs, in the Veterans Service Office Funds, created
24by Section 972.2 of the Military and Veterans Code.

end insert
begin delete


Section 5068.5 is added to the Vehicle Code, to



(a) (1) A veterans’ organization that meets the
28minimum application requirement specified in subdivision (d) of
29Section 5060 by applying either individually or with other veterans’
30organizations shall be issued a license plate bearing a distinctive
31design or decal approved under subdivision (a) of Section 5060.

32(2) Special interest license plates issued under this section may
33be issued in a combination of numbers or letters, or both, requested
34by the owner or lessee of the vehicle, to be displayed in addition
35to the design or decal authorized under paragraph (1), subject to
36Section 5105.

37(b) (1) The special interest license plates described in this
38section shall be issued only to veterans of the United States Armed
39Forces. An applicant shall not be issued a special interest license
P6    1plate unless he or she establishes, by satisfactory proof, that he or
2she is a veteran.

3(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), a veteran who was issued a
4special license plate pursuant to Section 5068 on or before January
51, 2012, shall be issued a special license plate under this section
6without providing proof of his or her veteran status.

7(c) In addition to the regular fees for an original registration, a
8renewal of registration, or a transfer of registration, the following
9fees shall be paid by individuals applying for a special interest
10license plate or a decal issued under this section:

11(1) Fifty dollars ($50) for the initial issuance of the plates and
12decals. The plates shall be permanent and shall not be required to
13be replaced.

14(2) Forty dollars ($40) for each renewal of registration that
15includes the continued display of the plates or decals.

16(3) Fifteen dollars ($15) for transfer of the plates to another

18(4) Thirty-five dollars ($35) for replacement plates, if they
19become damaged or unserviceable.

20(5) Ten dollars ($10) for replacement decals, if they become
21damaged or unserviceable.

22(6) Seventy-eight dollars ($78) for the personalization of the
23plates, as authorized under paragraph (2) of subdivision (a).


SEC. 2.  

Section 5069 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:



Revenue derived from the additional special fees
26provided in Sections 5068 and 5068.5, less costs incurred by the
27department pursuant to this article, shall be deposited in the
28Veterans Service Office Fund, created by Section 972.2 of the
29Military and Veterans Code.

end delete