Gold Star Plate

Gold Star Parents, Spouses, Children, and Siblings may qualify for a Gold Star License Plate under RCW 46.18.245.  These plates honor parents, spouses, children, and siblings of military men and women who lost their lives in service to our Country. 


To qualify for Gold Star license plates, you must be certified by the Department of Veterans Affairs as being 1 of the following to a United States armed forces member who died while in the service, or as a result of their service:

  • Widow or widower (If the servicemember died as a result of their service, please include verification such as eligibility for DIC, or other documentation which identifies a service connected disability as the cause of death. Call 1-800-562-0132 option 1 if you have questions or need assistance.)
  • Birth mother or birth father
  • Stepmother or stepfather
  • Mother or father through adoption (Additional documentation required.)
  • Adult who fulfilled the parental role, such as foster parent, kinship care provider, or caretaker relative. (Additional documentation required.)
  • Biological child
  • Adopted child
  • Sibling

Fees (The legislature passed SHB 1197 during the 2019 Session.  This bill will change the way fees are charged for Gold Star License Plates.  Below is information on fees charged through July 27, 2019, as well as the fees that will go into effect on July 28, 2019)

Fees until July 27, 2019:

Widows(ers) do not pay any registration or plate fees for one Gold Star License Plate or regular license plate. (If you received your Gold Star License and permenant tab and then received a bill from the Department of Licensing for registration fees, please contact us at 1-800-562-0132 option '1' so that we can work with the Department of Licensing to update the system to reflect your exempt status. If you had exempt status and alread paid the registration fees, you can request a refund using this form and indicating in the 'Other' section that you have a Gold Star License Plate with exempt status.)

For all other individuals eligible for Gold Star License Plates, there is no additional fee for the Gold Star background design, but you must still pay all required vehicle registration and tab renewal fees.  Visit for additional information. (Registration and tab renewal fees vary by location and type of vehicle.) 

Fees starting July 28, 2019:


Gold Star Widow/Widower

Parent/Step parent

Gold Star


Fees Fee charged? Fee charged?
License Plate Fee No No
$30 Annual Registration Fee No Yes
Service Fees - $8.75 No Yes
Weight Fees  No Yes
Personalized Plate Fee Yes Yes
Motor Vehicle Excise Tax (MVET) No Yes
Local TBD No Yes
# of Vehicles Eligible for fee exemption 1* 1

*A qualified widow, a widower, a biological parent, an adoptive parent, a stepparent, or an adult in loco parentis or foster parent applicant may purchase additional Gold Star license plates without payment of any license plate fees, but the applicant must pay all other fees and taxes required by law for registering the motor vehicle.

*Gold Star Widows and widowers who choose instead to receive a standard license plate or any other qualifying special license plate are exempt from payment of all licensing fees.

Personalized Plates

You may get personalized plates with a Gold Star background design for an additional fee:

  • Additional $52 for registrations that expire on or after October 1, 2013.

For details and how to apply, see read more