Since October 2009, a surviving spouse or parent of a service member who dies while serving honorably in active service has been eligible to receive a complimentary gold star license plate.
Effective Aug. 1, 2011, a new law expands plate eligibility to surviving legal guardians and the service member’s brothers, sisters and children. Rep. John Kriesel (R-Cottage Grove) and Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen (R-Alexandria) sponsor the law.
The law also contains a provision to decrease license and state identification card fees, while increasing vehicle registration filing fees.
Effective July 1, 2011, the cost of a Class D driver’s license will drop from $22.25 to $17.25. Fees for renewing vehicle licenses will increase from $4.50 to $6 and other transactions will increase from $8.50 to $10. There will not be a filing fee charged for surrendering a vehicle title.
There are two types of registration centers: state-operated and independently operated deputy registrar locations. Fees paid at state-operated locations will go toward the purchase of a Minnesota licensing and registration mainframe to replace the current 30-year-old system. The transaction fees paid at deputy registrar offices can be used to give the employees their first wage increase in eight years.
Section 4 of the law allows the Department of Veterans Affairs to accept federal funds, effective July 1, 2011.
Also beginning July 1, 2011, residents involved in work therapy programs at state veterans homes may work on a broader array of projects. Kriesel said a project to work on kickstands had to be refused because of current prescriptive language.