NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A local U.S. Navy veteran is working to make sure Virginia drivers can have the option of having Navy license plates.
Roger Hirsh is a retired captain and has been working for the last several years to get these plates made in the commonwealth.
WAVY spoke with him in 2018 about his efforts and he says been busy hard at work since.
“I’m still working at it every day,” he said.
Hirsh says he was inspired after seeing other friends who served in other branches of the military with specialty plates at their routine coffee stops.
“They would be parked along the window with Coast Guard plates, Army plates, and so forth,” he said. “[I asked] where’s the Navy plate? I went online to find one and there wasn’t one,” he said.
So, Hirsh did some research into it.
According to the DMV, there need to be 450 paid pre-orders for the plates. After that’s accomplished, a bill is introduced in the General Assembly and passed to get the plates produced.
Hirsh says Sen. Jen Kiggans, a Navy veteran, will sponsor the legislation if he can get enough orders by December, which is just in time for the General Assembly.
Right now, he has 274 orders but needs 176 more.
Hirsh believes it can be accomplished but he’s running into difficulty spreading the word about it.
“That’s clearly the challenge but I’m not sure I have found that Willy Wonka ticket yet,” he said.
The bill is already written and Hirsh says the plates will cost $25 annually because they are revenue-sharing plates.
That means $15 from cost will go toward an organization. Hirsh says the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Services will benefit from the plates.
He hopes this will get even more people interested, especially since the organization helps people in times of need.
“A lot of spouses of active duty have lost employment with businesses going down and closures. The financial need is there. Navy-Marine Corps Relief Service has the same problem the rest of us do. It’s hard to get out there and fundraise,” he said.
The plates are available to all Navy veterans and active duty members as well as un re-married surviving spouses.
The plates are also available for motorcycles as well as for handicap plates, according to Hirsh.
To learn more or to purchase an order, click here.
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