NORFOLK, Va. — Soon it will be much more difficult to spot a sailor or military spouse on the highways of Hampton Roads.
Beginning next month, the Navy will no longer require servicemembers to display vehicle decals to get on base.
The change isn't expected to affect base security and will save the service about $750,000 a year, officials said. Guards will still check ID cards of all drivers.
The windshield stickers were mandated years ago to ensure that vehicles entering military bases meet various safety, emissions and insurance standards in states where the cars are registered.
As state safety requirements have become more uniform in recent years, the Navy said the stickers have become an unneeded security liability. The Army and Air Force have done away with the decals.
In a frequently asked question page explaining the policy change, the Navy said the stickers are easily counterfeited and could turn service members' vehicles into potential targets.
The service is encouraging sailors to remove the stickers as soon as the policy goes into effect to ensure they "blend in better" with the general population and to prevent them from "being singled out for any criminal or terrorist attack."
Another note from the FAQ page: Gate sentries who are active-duty servicemembers will still be required to salute commissioned officers — traffic permitting.