2021 California Code
Vehicle Code - VEH
DIVISION 3 - REGISTRATION OF VEHICLES AND CERTIFICATES OF TITLE
CHAPTER 1 - Original and Renewal of Registration; Issuance of Certificates of Title
ARTICLE 8.5 - Environmental License Plates
(a) A person otherwise eligible under this article who is a firefighter, retired firefighter, or a surviving family member of a firefighter or retired firefighter may apply for special license plates for a vehicle under this article. License plates issued pursuant to this section shall be issued in accordance with Section 5060.
(b) The applicant, by proof satisfactory to the department, shall show that he or she is a firefighter, retired firefighter, or a surviving family member of a firefighter or retired firefighter, who meets all of the following:
(1) Is presently, was at the time of his or her death, or has or had retired in good standing as, an officer, an employee, or a member of a fire department or a fire service of the state, a county, a city, a district, or any other political subdivision of the state, whether in a volunteer, partly paid, or fully paid status.
(2) Is or was until retirement or death, regularly employed as a firefighter or regularly enrolled as a volunteer firefighter.
(3) Has, or had before retirement or death, principal duties which fall within the scope of active firefighting and any of the following activities:
(A) Fire prevention service.
(B) Fire training.
(C) Hazardous materials abatement.
(D) Arson investigation.
(E) Emergency medical services.
(c) The special license plates issued under this section shall contain the words “California Firefighter” and shall run in a regular numerical series.
(d) In addition to the regular fees for an original registration, a renewal of registration, or a transfer of registration, the following special license plate fees shall be paid:
(1) A fee of fifty dollars ($50) for the initial issuance of the special license plates. These special license plates shall be permanent and shall not be required to be replaced.
(2) A fee of thirty-five dollars ($35) for each renewal of registration that includes the continued display of the special license plates.
(3) If the special license plates become damaged or unserviceable, a fee of thirty-five dollars ($35) for the replacement of the special license plates, obtained from the department upon proper application therefor.
(4) A fee of fifteen dollars ($15) for the transfer of the special license plates to another vehicle qualifying as a vehicle owned by a firefighter who has met the requirements set forth in subdivision (b).
(5) In addition, for the issuance of environmental license plates, as defined in Section 5103, with the special firefighter personal vehicle license plates and distinctive design or decal, the additional fees prescribed in Sections 5106 and 5108. The additional fees collected pursuant to this paragraph shall be deposited in the California Environmental License Plate Fund.
(e) (1) Upon the death of a person issued special license plates pursuant to this section, his or her surviving spouse may retain the special license plates. Except as provided in paragraph (2), upon the death of the surviving spouse, the plates shall be returned to the department or destroyed within 60 days after the death of the surviving spouse or upon the expiration of the vehicle registration, whichever occurs first.
(2) In the absence of a surviving spouse or where the surviving spouse dies while in possession of the special license plates, a member of the deceased firefighter’s family may retain one of the special license plates as a family heirloom, subject to the conditions set forth in subdivision (f). As used in this paragraph, “family” means grandparents, stepgrandparents, parents, stepparents, siblings, stepsiblings, stepchildren, natural-born children, or adopted children of the person issued the special license plates under subdivision (a).
(f) The special license plates issued under this section are not valid for use for vehicle registration purposes by a person other than the person issued the special license plates under subdivision (a) and the surviving spouse of that person.
(g) For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:
(1) “Surviving family member” means the spouse and any child, including an adopted child, stepchild, or recognized natural child of a deceased firefighter or deceased retired firefighter. “Surviving family member” does not include a former spouse.
(2) “Spouse” includes a domestic partner in a domestic partnership as described in Section 297 of the Family Code.
(h) Except as provided in paragraph (5) of subdivision (d), the revenues derived from the additional special fees provided in this section, less costs incurred by the department pursuant to this section, shall be deposited in the California Firefighters’ Memorial Fund established by Section 18802 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.
(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 115, Sec. 2. (AB 1338) Effective January 1, 2018.)