LANSING (WWJ/AP) – Families of military members who died in combat will be able to purchase a special Michigan license plate starting in July.
Governor Rick Snyder signed Senate Bill 102 Thursday morning in the Capitol rotunda, authorizing the Secretary of State to issue a “Gold Star Family” license plate to immediate family members of those who died while serving in the armed forces.
A spouse, parent, sibling or child of a fallen combat veteran is eligible to purchase the plate.
Each will be inscribed with an exact replica of the original flags flown by Gold Star families during World War II and the words, “Gold Star Family.”
“The Gold Star Family license plate will serve as a ‘moving memorial’ to our heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice. It also recognizes the enormous sacrifices of Michigan families who have lost loved ones in America’s armed conflicts,” Snyder said in a statement.
“This plate is a fitting tribute that families can display on their vehicles with great pride. As we observe Memorial Day 2011, please join me in keeping these heroes and their families in our thoughts and prayers,” the Governor continued.
The bill, sponsored by Republican Senator John Pappageorge of Troy, was introduced August 19, 2009. It passed through the Michigan Senate and House without any opposition.
Citizens applying for the Gold Star Family plate will have to pay a $5 service fee, in addition to normal vehicle registration fees, accompanied by proof of the applicant’s relationship to the deceased.
The bill will take effect on July 1, 2011.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.