How Can You Tell If a Car Has Military License Plates?


Quick Answer

Military license plate design varies between the individual states, but nearly all display the insignia of the veteran's branch of service. In some cases this is accompanied by the word "Veteran" or other indications that the registered owner has a military background.

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How Can You Tell If a Car Has Military License Plates?
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Full Answer

For example, in Washington, military plates have the insignia, a two-letter abbreviation for the branch of service and a backdrop of the American flag. Unlike regular plates in that state, the letters are not raised.

In Montana, the license plates are blue with white lettering and the outline of the state. The military branch insignia is on the left side. Montana is one state where the word veteran is prominently displayed.

Some states also issue military plates with special insignia for POWs, Pearl Harbor survivors and Purple Heart veterans as well as for families of deceased personnel. In Montana, the branch of service logo is replaced by the POW-MIA flag, a special Pearl Harbor flag or a picture of the Purple Heart. Disabled veterans are issued a special plate with a "DV" next to the Purple Heart.

Applicants for a military license plate must fill out the proper forms and submit a DD214 or valid Military ID or provide a Declaration of Fact. The license plates may be personalized and are transferable between vehicles, as long as the state motor vehicle department is informed.

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