FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Individuals whose siblings have died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces may now apply for a Gold Star Sibling license plate thanks, in part, to legislation passed in the 2015 Regular Session of the General Assembly.
House Bill 209, which passed both chambers unanimously, expands the Gold Star plate eligibility to siblings of fallen heroes. Until this legislation, only parents and spouses of the deceased were entitled to apply.
“We honor our fallen heroes by taking care of the loved ones they leave behind,” said Gov. Matt Bevin, a U.S. Army veteran. “The Gold Star Sibling license plate reminds us of the sacrifice of the entire family. I would ask all Kentuckians to show proper respect and gratitude to those who display Gold Star license plates.”
“We can never thank these families enough for their sacrifice,” said Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton, a U.S. Air Force veteran. “What a tremendous tribute to our fallen heroes to allow siblings to honor their loved ones with this specialty plate.”
“We are grateful to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet for helping us develop and offer a license plate that recognizes our Kentucky Gold Star Siblings. We encourage everyone who sees a vehicle with one of these plates to take a moment to think about the sacrifice made for our country,” said Heather French Henry, commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs (KDVA).
“I am honored to have sponsored HB 209, which allows a person whose sibling died while serving the country in the United States Armed Forces, to pay special tribute to his/her sibling by purchasing a Gold Star Sibling license plate. A constituent brought this to my attention, and the bill’s co-sponsor, Former Representative Tanya Pullin and I had 100% bipartisan support to achieve passage of the bill,” said Rep. Diane St. Onge, of Lakeside Park. “It is a reflection of the true commitment and reverence the Commonwealth has for our military men, women, and families.”
To receive the plate, a Gold Star Sibling Affidavit must be completed and submitted to the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs. The KDVA will confirm eligibility and provide a letter of qualification directly to the county clerk office on behalf of the license plate applicant.
The initial cost of this plate is $31, which includes a $10 mandatory contribution to the Veterans’ Program Trust Fund. Each annual renewal is $26 with a $5 mandatory contribution fee. The plate is available for passenger vehicles and motorcycles.
The inaugural Gold Star plate was issued in April 2006 during a ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda honoring Gold Star Mothers. Since the start of this program through December 2015, 136 mothers, fathers and spouses of fallen Kentuckians have received Gold Star license plates.
For additional information and to download a copy of the Gold Star Sibling Affidavit, please visit the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs website at http://veterans.ky.gov or 502-564-9203, 1-800-572-6245.
Motorists can also contact the Kentucky Division of Motor Vehicle Licensing at http://mvl.ky.gov/ or 502-564-1257.