Among the changes made by Georgia House Bill 1055, retired military will now have to pay a manufacturing fee of $25 and a special license plate fee of $35 to receive their retired military license plates. These fees are in addition to normal vehicle registration fees. The $25 manufacturing fee will apply when you are issued new plates, but the $35 fee will be assessed annually. Other types of special license plates previously provided free to individuals who were involved in performing public service are also affected. This includes firefighters, EMS, and Amateur Radio operators.
This is a slap-in-the-face of our retired military members and public servants. Military members, firefighters and EMS personnel routinely place their lives on the line in service to others, and having this benefit taken from them shows true disregard for their service. Amateur Radio operators invest hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars in equipment and donate countless hours of their time providing services ranging from parade communications to tornado spotting and disaster recovery. These volunteer communicators often go unnoticed by the public, but their presence is important and substantial.
The text of HB 1055, as signed into law by Gov. Sonny Perdue, is available at http://www.legis.state.ga.us/legis/2009_10/sum/hb1055.htm. The section pertaining to fees for special license plates begins at line 2188. The list of special tags impacted by this law begins at line 2268.
I urge you to contact the Governor’s office, your state legislators and the sponsors of this bill (listed on page 1 of the Bill) to express your displeasure over these changes.
USAF Retired & Amateur Radio Operator WM4B