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Illinois Air National Guard veteran Michael Marzano earned an air medal for his time in Afghanistan, along with many other accolades from his eight years with the National Guard. Marzano was proud to be able to put a license plate honoring his service on his car but now, thanks to a new law, the state has told him he will be unable to keep these commemorative plates. 

“I thought it was a very nice recognition of that service and I was very proud to be able to put that on my vehicle,” Marzano said to CBS Chicago

Marzano electric car, and according to a new Illinois State Law, electric cars are no longer allowed specialty plates, including sports team or veteran plates. 

“We take pride in our service and in our time in the military and what we’ve done and what we did, and you know, that was kind of our way of signifying it,” Marzano said.

Because of the recent changes in legislation, electric car owners in Illinois must now pay $251 for registration and have a generic electric vehicle plate. There are no more specialty plates for electric cars.  

“I think it was just overlooked,” said State Rep. and Marine Corps veteran Stephanie Kifowit.

“People’s vehicles, their cars are their personality, and that as a state need to recognize that and acknowledge that with the personalized and vanity plates on electric cars too,” she continued. 

The change in law may even negatively impact organizations who received some of their funding from the fees associated with the specialty plates. For example, funds Marine Corps plates go to a scholarship fund for veterans and their families. 

“If we’re not allowing those to transfer as well, then those donations could diminish or be impacted significantly,” Kifowit said.

When contacted for a comment, the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office said they are only following the law. 

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