Section 32-6-280

Issuance of distinctive plates; list of eligible retired professional firefighters; identification; fees; use of plates or tags.

(a) As used in this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

(1) Professional firefighter means a paid member of a paid or part-paid fire department of a city, town, county, or other subdivision of the state, including the chief, assistant chief, warden, engineer, captain, firemen, and all other officers and employees of the department who actually engage in fire fighting or rendering first aid at the scene of an accident.

(2) Retired professional firefighter means a retired member of a paid or part-paid fire department of a city, town, county, or other subdivision of the state, including the chief, assistant chief, warden, engineer, captain, firemen, and all other officers and employees of the department who actually engaged in fire fighting or rendering first aid at the scene of an accident. Notwithstanding any other provision of this division, retired professional firefighter includes a retired professional firefighter who is a resident of this state and who has retired from a professional fire department in another state and otherwise meets the requirements of this section.

(b)(1) Notwithstanding Sections 32-6-64, 32-6-67, and 32-6-68, a retired professional firefighter, upon application and subject to the provisions of this section, may be issued a distinctive motor vehicle license plate as identification as a retired professional firefighter, and a professional firefighter, upon application and subject to the provisions of this section, may be issued a distinctive motor vehicle license plate as identification as a professional firefighter.

(2) In addition to the proper numbers, words, and insignias used on the standard license plate issued for motor vehicles, the distinctive plates so issued for a retired professional firefighter shall have a design created by the state association of professional firefighters in coordination with the Mobile Retired Firefighters and Paramedics Association and the Tuscaloosa Retired Firefighters Association, and the distinctive license plate so issued for a professional firefighter shall have a design created by the state association of professional firefighters.

(c)(1) The distinctive license plates provided herein shall be approved by the Commissioner of Revenue and shall be issued through the judge of probate, license commissioner, or other license issuing official of the several counties of the state in the same manner as are other motor vehicle license plates and the officers shall be entitled to their regular fees for the service.

(2) By December 1 of each year, the Firefighters' Personnel Standards and Education Commission shall submit to the judge of probate, the license commissioner, or other license issuing official of each county a list of eligible retired professional firefighters retired from paid or part-paid fire departments under this section. The Firefighters' Personnel Standards and Education Commission shall also add to the list any retired professional firefighter retired from a paid or part-paid fire department in another state who submits proof to the commission of eligibility pursuant to this division. The Firefighters' Personnel Standards and Education Commission shall also submit to the judge of probate, the license commissioner, or other license issuing official of each county a list of eligible professional firefighters from paid or part-paid fire departments.

(3) Any person who joins a paid or part-paid fire department after December 1 of any year or any person who is omitted from the list prepared as described above may obtain a distinctive license plate by presenting to the license issuing official proof of his or her membership in a paid or part-paid fire department by means of a certificate signed by the chief of the department on a form prescribed by the Firefighters' Personnel Standards and Education Commission.

(4) Upon the initial application for a retired professional firefighter distinctive license plate under this section, an applicant for a distinctive plate provided herein shall present to the judge of probate, the license commissioner, or other license issuing official of the county, proof of his or her retirement from a fire department that is included on the list provided by the Firefighters' Personnel Standards and Education Commission. Proof of the person's retirement from a fire department included on the list from the Firefighters' Personnel Standards and Education Commission is not required for renewal of the distinctive plate.

(5) Upon the applicant submitting proof of his or her identification, the professional firefighter shall be issued the requested number of distinctive license plates upon the payment of the regular fee for license plates, as provided by law, but shall not be required to pay the three dollar ($3) fee.

(6) Upon the applicant submitting proof of his or her identification, the retired professional firefighter shall be issued the requested number of distinctive license plates upon the payment of the regular license fee for plates, as provided by law, but shall not be required to pay the three dollar ($3) fee.

(7) The distinctive license plates so issued shall be used only upon and for personally owned, private passenger vehicles, to include station wagons and pick-up trucks, registered in the name of the retired professional firefighter or professional firefighter making application therefor, and when so issued to the applicant shall be used upon the vehicle for which issued in lieu of the standard license plates normally issued for the vehicle.

(8) In addition to any other fees provided for by law, an annual additional fee of twenty-five cents ($.25) is added to the cost of the retired professional firefighter and the professional firefighter distinctive license plates provided for in this division. The annual additional fee collected pursuant to this section shall be deposited into a fund managed by the Alabama Joint Fire Council and shall be used for the purpose of expanding and maintaining the Alabama Firefighter Memorial located in Tuscaloosa.

(9) Anyone who is proven to have either falsely obtained or certified an individual to obtain a distinctive retired professional firefighter license plate or a distinctive professional firefighter license plate shall be guilty of a Class C misdemeanor, and upon conviction, shall be punished according to law.

(d) Retired professional firefighters distinctive license plates as provided by this section shall be prepared and furnished for the licensing year commencing January 1, 2012, and thereafter as is provided by law for the issuance of other license plates. Professional firefighters distinctive license plates as provided by this section shall be prepared and furnished for the licensing year commencing January 1, 2016, and thereafter as is provided by law for the issuance of other license plates.

(e) The Department of Revenue may promulgate any rules necessary to administer this section.

(Act 2010-710, p. 1732, §§1-4; Act 2015-362, §1.)