NOTTINGHAM, MD—A new law taking effect July 1 benefits Maryland veterans every time certain special vehicle registration plates are purchased from the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA). House Bill 646 was passed in the 2020 Maryland General Assembly session and allocates $10 from the sale of certain plates to Maryland Veterans Trust Fund, a non-emergency, temporary financial assistance program administered by the Maryland Veteran’s Administration.
Eligible plates include those recognizing individually earned combat-related armed services medals; honorably discharged veterans; and recipients of U.S. Department of Defense Gold Star status, which is awarded to a surviving spouse, parent, or next of kin of a United States armed forces member who lost his or her life in combat.
“We’re proud to honor our veterans with not only specialty plates, but also a variety of options that provide them easier access to vital services,” said MDOT MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer. “With the implementation of this bill, veterans and families who order these specialty plates can be assured that part of the fee will help other veterans in need.”
“This past fiscal year, the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs distributed more than $100,000 in Trust Fund grants to veterans in need of financial assistance,” said Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary George Owings. “We are thankful House Bill 646 was enacted this year. We look forward to expanding our commitment to those who have served, and working with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration toward that goal.”
While the new law applies only to certain specialty plates and those eligible to receive them, anyone can donate to the Maryland Veterans Trust Fund. Details are available here.
MDOT MVA honors the men and women who serve our nation in several ways, including a “Veterans Status” designation on their driver’s license or identification card indicating they are eligible for state veteran benefits. MDOT MVA has issued more than 125,000 drivers licenses and IDs with a veteran designation. MDOT MVA also offers more than 100 specialty license plates honoring America’s military, as well as vehicle registration cards and license plate stickers for veterans who qualify as 100 percent disabled.
MDOT MVA also has customer service initiatives dedicated to helping veterans and their families access resources quickly and conveniently.
This month, MDOT MVA and the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs opened a veteran’s service center inside the Hagerstown branch office. It is the third veteran service center in an MDOT MVA branch. The first opened in 2019 at the Glen Burnie branch and the second opened in March inside the Salisbury branch office. All three veteran’s benefits centers are open during MDOT MVA business hours by appointment only. For information on these and other services, visit mva.maryland.gov/Pages/militaryandveterans.