The state of Illinois soon will allow the sons and daughters of fallen service members to apply for Gold Star license plates. That's after legislation sponsored by State Rep. John Cabello was signed into law by the Governor. The law becomes effective on January 1, 2015.

Prior to this, state law only permitted the surviving spouses, parents, and siblings of persons who lost their lives while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces to be issued the special plates. On the signing of the bill, Cabello said:

Fallen military men and women have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the freedoms that we enjoy today. Their families deserve our highest levels of support and respect. My hope is that these Gold Star license plates will provide an added way for these sons and daughters to be recognized for their sacrifice and the sacrifice and service of their loved one.

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According to the law, a Gold Star Affirmation verifying receipt of the Gold Star, including the service member’s name and relationship to the special license plate applicant, is required to receive the plates.