July 20, 2011
Contact: Caitlin E. Chamberlain
(207) 441-0501

Applications for Gold Star Family Registration Plates and Military Service Driver’s License Designation Available Now

By Secretary of State Charlie Summers

AUGUSTA, Maine – I would like to take a moment to discuss two bills passed during this year’s legislative session honoring the brave men and women who have served to protect our freedom. 

First of all, I am extremely proud to announce that the Gold Star Family registration plates are expected to be available by the end of the summer.  This legislation is a product of collaboration involving Governor Paul LePage; John Mixon, Vietnam Veteran and founder of Run for the Fallen Maine; Emily Knight, the young lady who designed the plate; Representative Bradley Moulton, R-York, sponsor of the bill; the Transportation Committee and the 125th Legislature; 3M, who donated the first roll of material to produce the plates; and J. R. Wald Co., who manufactured the die to emboss the plates.

Any eligible family member (spouse, parent, child, sibling, or grandparent) of a fallen soldier who is a Maine resident may now begin the application process to receive a Gold Star Family registration plate. Applications can be obtained from the Bureau of Veterans’ Services.  Completed applications must be submitted with a copy of DD Form 1300, Casualty Report, or other official paperwork indicating death on active duty in support of combat operations (the Bureau of Veterans’ Services may be able to assist in obtaining necessary documentation).  Additionally, the request must include a copy of proof of relationship to the deceased (i.e. birth certificate, marriage certificate, baptismal certificate, etc).  Upon notification from the Bureau of Veterans’ Services, the BMV will issue the plates once they are available. The plates can only be placed on passenger vehicles.   

I truly believe that the Gold Star Family registration plate is a way to pay tribute to the brave Americans, who, as President Abraham Lincoln said, gave their “last full measure of devotion.”

I’m also pleased to announce that the military service license designation, featuring a Field of Stars in the background of the photo, is now available at all Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) locations as of July 18, 2011. This legislation was introduced by Senator David Trahan R-Waldoboro to recognize those who have served.  I’m very proud of the team effort between the Legislature and the Bureau of Motor Vehicles that went into creating this designation.  With a little Yankee-ingenuity we were able to have the backdrops produced by the Maine State Archives at very little cost to tax payers.

In order to obtain this designation applicants must currently be serving in the United States Armed Forces; or provide verification of honorable discharge from the United States military (DD Form 214), or provide certification from the United States Veterans Administration or other appropriate branch of the United States Armed Forces verifying the applicant's military service and honorable discharge.  Applicants will also have to bring documentation verifying Maine residency and legal presence in the United States if they have not already done so (a complete list of acceptable documents can be found at

To obtain the application for the Gold Star Family registration plate, please visit the Bureau of Veterans' Services website or call (207) 430-6035.

For more information about the military service designation, please contact the Bureau of Motor vehicles at (207) 624-9000.

Sample Gold Star Family registration plate

Sample Maine Driver's License with Military Service Designation