Alabama Laws Affecting Veterans

Distinctive/Commemorative Tag Program

DISABLED VETERANS (Greater than 50% Service Connected Disability Rating)

Any resident veteran who suffers from a physical disability which requires that any motor vehicle he or she operates be equipped with special mechanical control devices or whose physical disability is greater than 50%, may be issued license plates for private or pleasure motor vehicles. Payment for this tag is $5.00, unless otherwise exempted by law. The fee shall be in lieu of the regular license fee now required for motor vehicles and shall be used to defray the cost of issuing the distinctive license plates. The plates shall not be transferable. If the veteran qualifies under § 40-12-254, he/she is limited to one (1) license plate. If the veteran qualifies under § 32-6-130, there is no limit on the number of plates issued. (Ala. Code §§ 32-6-130 & 40-12-254)


DISABLED VETERANS (10% Service Connected or Higher Disability Rating)

Service-connected disabled veterans rated at 10% or higher who are residents of Alabama at the time the exemption is claimed, shall be exempt from the payment of the privilege or license tax and registration fee now and hereinafter to be levied on automobiles and motor vehicles by the State of Alabama. The plates shall not be transferable. Veterans rated as less than 50% service-connected disabled are limited to one exemption and one license plate. (Ala. Code §§ 40-12-244 & 40-12-254)


NATIONAL GUARD OR RESERVES FORCES EXEMPTION

 

Any active or retired member of the Alabama National Guard or any resident of Alabama at the time of entering the United States Armed Forces Reserve organization who are still residents of Alabama at the time the exemption is claimed, shall be exempt from the payment of the privilege or license tax and registration fee now and hereinafter to be levied on one automobile or motor vehicle by the State of Alabama. For active members, this exemption extends only the distinctive National Guard or service connected disabled veterans’ license plate. For retired members, the exemption extends only to the distinctive National Guard license plate. (Ala. Code § 40-12-244)


PEARL HARBOR SURVIVOR

Any person who was a member of the United States Armed Forces on December 7, 1941, was on station or offshore at a distance not to exceed three miles, during the attack on the Island of Oahu, Territory of Hawaii, and received an honorable discharge from the United States Armed Forces may be issued a distinctive motor vehicle license tag identifying said persons as a Pearl Harbor Survivor upon the payment of the regular fee and the additional payment of $3.00 for each plate issued.  License plate can be personalized for an additional annual $50 fee. (Ala. Code §§ 32-6-310, 32-6-350.1, & 32-6-231.1)


RECIPIENTS OF THE MEDAL OF HONOR OR PURPLE HEART MEDAL AND FORMER PRISONERS OF WAR

 

A distinctive permanent license plate for use on a private motor vehicle registered in the recipient's name, shall be issued to any resident of the state who is a recipient of the Medal of Honor; the Purple Heart Medal; a duly recognized American prisoner of war (military or civilian); or who is an American who was a duly recognized prisoner of war (military or civilian) while serving with a formal American ally force.


Medal of Honor - The registrant is exempt from registration fees and ad valorem taxes for the first plate. All applicable registration fees and ad valorem taxes must be remitted for any additional plates obtained.

 

Purple Heart Medal - The registrant is exempt from registration fees (but not ad valorem taxes) for the first plate. All applicable registration fees and ad valorem taxes must be remitted for any additional plates obtained.

 

Prisoner of War - The registrant is exempt from registration fees and ad valorem taxes for the first plate. All applicable registration fees and ad valorem taxes must be remitted for any additional plates obtained.  

 

The recipient of the Medal of Honor, Purple Heart Medal, and Prisoner of War license plates may keep the tag for life and does not need to re-register each year.  Upon the veteran’s death, the surviving spouse shall be entitled to retain the tag, at no fee or tax. Exception: the surviving spouse of Purple Heart Medal recipients shall pay ad valorem taxes due for one private motor vehicle owned by the surviving spouse for the remainder of the said spouse's lifetime or until remarriage.  (Ala. Code §§ 32-6-250 & 254)


RETIRED MILITARY

   

Those persons who are non-disability retirees from active duty in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force or Coast Guard of the United States may be issued distinctive motor vehicle tags identifying these persons with such retirement.  Retirees are entitled to a distinctive tag for each vehicle registered in their name and must pay regular license fee and the additional payment of $3.00 for each tag issued. These plates are transferable to a surviving spouse for lifetime or until remarriage. (Ala. Code §§ 32-6-290- 93)


VETERAN COMMEMORATIVE TAG PROGRAMS

In accordance with Ala. Code § 32-6-350, the ADVA is the certifying official for the following commemorative license plates: WWII, Battle of the Bulge, Korean War, Vietnam Veteran, Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Atomic Nuked, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom. Specific eligibility criteria for these individual license plates may or may not require the applicant to have served in a specific country/location to qualify for issuance.

To make application or to determine eligibility for a specific commemorative license plate, contact your nearest county VSO for assistance. Please note that under no circumstances can a second party such as a family member make application for a distinctive or commemorative license plate on behalf of the veteran.

Registrants for each of the above Commemorative License Plates shall pay an annual fee of $3.00 plus the normal tag and issuance fee and ad valorem taxes. This plate can also be personalized for an annual fee of $50.00. Exception: The registrant for the Vietnam Veteran License Plate shall pay a $6.00 fee when the initial metal plate is issued and a $3.00 fee each time the vehicle registration is renewed. (Ala. Code §§ 32-6-231.1 & 32-6-350(b))

Military Branch Service License Plates – All residents of Alabama who are active, retired, or honorably discharged veterans of the United States Air Force, Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Merchant Marines may be issued distinctive motor vehicle tags by presenting the local tag official with the following; Military ID; or Leave and Earnings Statement; or DD214 reflecting the appropriate branch of service.

Registrants for the Military Branch License Plates shall pay an annual fee of $3.00 plus the normal tag and issuance fee and ad valorem taxes. Exception: Retired and honorably discharged members of the US Marines Corps applying for the Marine Corps License Plate shall pay an additional $25.00 each time the vehicle registration is renewed. Active duty Marine Corps service members shall pay an additional $3.00 each time the vehicle registration is renewed. These license plates cannot be personalized. (Ala. Code §§ 32-6-640(d) & (f))