By Times Staff
A Gloucester lawmaker is pushing for special license plates for state residents serving in the armed forces.
Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester, and state Rep. James E. Vallee, D-Franklin, announced Friday that they will file legislation requiring the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) to provide special active-duty license plates to Massachusetts residents currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.
The men's proposal would allow full-time active duty military personnel serving in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard or Air Force to request a distinctive emblem from the RMV designating their branch of service.
The emblems, which would be subject to a fee of not more than $35 to cover production costs, would be designed to be affixed to the license plates of private passenger motor vehicles and motorcycles.
"Our state has always had a strong legacy of men and women serving our country and protecting our freedoms," Tarr said in a prepared statement. "And since the terrorist incidents of Sept. 11 (2001), their sacrifices have been substantial.
"Now, more than ever," he continued, "it's important that our state give official recognition to the servicemen and -women who make us proud every day to be Americans. The distinctive license plates created by this proposal will also allow all of us to understand who these brave men and women are, and to offer our gratitude whenever possible."
"These plates will serve as small, daily reminders of the big contributions our military personnel make to the commonwealth and the country," said Vallee, who serves as House Chairman of the Legislature's Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs.
Tarr and Vallee are hoping to draw strong bipartisan support for their bill by making it available for co-sponsorship to their colleagues in the House and Senate.
Connecticut recently passed similar legislation. Ohio also allows active duty military personnel to receive special recognition on their license plates.