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Dunlap to unveil new design for veterans’ license plates

AUGUSTA, Maine — Stars and stripes will now adorn Maine veterans’ license plates in a new design that will be available beginning Nov. 13, 2018.

The plates will now feature red stripes across the top and bottom with a field of three stars in the upper left, on special veteran plates and disability special veteran plates only.

Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap will unveil the new design during a Veterans Day concert in Bangor on Sunday, Nov. 11.

The new design will continue to allow space for a commemorative veteran decal if desired. Decals available include those that designate the motorist’s branch of service, as well as some campaign medals and awards. Procedures and requirements for veterans’ plates and decals will remain the same; visit the Bureau of Motor Vehicles website for information.

The BMV convened a working group to redesign the plates at the direction of the Legislature’s Transportation Committee in October 2017. Members included Rep. Bettyann Sheats, Rep. Sheldon Hannington, Bureau of Veterans’ Services Director Adria Horn and Veteran Outreach Specialist Laura Allen, Jay Emerson of the American Veterans Arts and Crafts Gallery (AVACG), and BMV staff.

The group chose the new design because it is easily legible for law enforcement and will cut down on issues such as the “V” on the current veterans’ plate being mistaken as part of the plate number, which can result in motorists being charged a vanity plate fee or receiving toll violation notices in error. The plates use a unique numbering system to avoid confusion with other plate classes.

Beginning Nov. 13, all registrants with veterans’ plates that display the red “V” will be required to switch to the new plate design upon renewal. If they wish to change over to the new design prior to their registration renewal date, a fee of $5/plate will be charged. Vanity plates will be allowed, and current registrants can choose to retain their plate number in the new design for a fee of $15.

The new veterans’ plates will be available in most town offices. However, anyone wishing to retain their current number or get a vanity plate must contact the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

Any questions about the new design should be directed to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles Registrations Unit at 624-9000, Ext. 52149.

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