A number of bills passed by the 2021 General Assembly and signed by Governor Ralph Northam will be of interest to customers of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The bills take effect July 1.
- Expansion of Voluntary Disability Indicator on Vehicle Registrations
House Bill 1960/Senate Bill 1470, introduced by Delegate Robert Bell and Senator George Barker, allows vehicle owners whose vehicle is regularly occupied by a person who has a communication impairment, such as autism, to voluntarily indicate so on their vehicle registration. Currently, this indicator only applies to vehicle owners who have a disability. This indication on the registration alerts law enforcement officers there may be someone in the vehicle with a communication impairment before approaching a stopped vehicle.
- Removal of Issuance Fees for Active Members and Retirees of the Virginia National Guard
Two separate bills remove the fee for the issuance of a special license plate for retired and active members of the Virginia National Guard. Patroned by Delegate Wendell Walker, House Bill 1796 removes the issuance fee for the retired National Guard license plate for retired members of the Virginia National Guard. House Bill 2261, patroned by Delegate Scott Wyatt, removes the issuance fee for one set of National Guard plates for those currently serving in the Virginia National Guard.
- Special License Plates for Recipients of Military Decorations
House Bill 2069, patroned by Delegate Delores McQuinn, allows persons who are recipients of certain military medals in honor of their service beyond the normal call of duty to obtain special license plates corresponding to their medal from the DMV upon showing proof they are the recipient of such a medal. In addition, the bill establishes a uniform fee structure for the cost of special license plates for recipients of a military decoration based on the order of precedence of such military decoration as determined by the federal Department of Defense or other relevant federal agency. Unremarried surviving spouses can also obtain these plates upon proof their spouse was a recipient of one of these medals.
- Ducks Unlimited License Plate Becomes Revenue Sharing
Patroned by Senator Richard Stuart, Senate Bill 1229 changes the current Ducks Unlimited license plate to a revenue-sharing special license plate. Currently, holders of this license plate pay a $10 annual fee. This bill increases the annual fee to $25. As a revenue-sharing plate, $15 of the $25 fee will be transferred to Ducks Unlimited, Inc. to support its wetlands and waterfowl habitat programs in Virginia.