Several States Now Offer or Require Military Status on Veteran’s Driver’s Licenses
While a DD214 still remains the bonafide document for proof of military service, Oklahoma, Connecticut and several states have either recently passed or are in the process of passing laws requiring veterans identification on state issued ID cards in order for veterans to pursue benefits.
In Connecticut military veterans may now apply to have their status marked on a driver’s license or state-issued ID.
On Jan. 2, the state of Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles and AAA offices will begin issuing drivers’ licenses and ID cards that will include the symbol of an American flag to identify veteran status.
The process in Connecticut is fairly simple. At least 30 days prior to visiting a DMV or AAA office, veterans must submit to the state Department of Veterans Affairs a completed application and proof of honorable discharge, such as a DD-214. The Department of Veterans Affairs will then verify the veteran’s military status and electronically notify DMV of the request prior to the driver’s license or ID card being issued.
The application can be downloaded online at the CT Department of Veterans Affairs website by visiting and clicking the “Application for Veteran’s Flag” link. The flag symbol will be added to a veteran’s license or ID card at no additional cost at renewal time or when it is first issued.
CT Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Attn: Veteran’s Flag on Driver License or ID Card, 287 West St., Rocky Hill, CT 06067.
Officials say the veteran identifier on the driver’s license or state-issued ID card will also help first responders, emergency rooms and healthcare providers to identify veterans that are eligible for programs and services from both the Department of Veterans Affairs and the VA.
Whether it be for some state or local aid for veterans or a discount at Home Depot, those who favor the veteran identifification option believe it will make life easier while allowing veterans to safeguard their important DD214 paperwork. It’s much easier for a veteran to take advantage of shopping discounts or preferences offered locally by national chains by simply handing over an official state ID, rather than carrying official discharge papers.
There are currently 27 states that feature a veterans designation on drivers licenses or have legislation that permit the issuance of a separate veterans ID card at the state or county level.
A dozen states passed laws in 2011 adding a veteran designation to driver’s licenses: Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Utah. States pursuing legislation this year include Arizona, Illinois, New Jersey and South Carolina. In Maryland, state Sen. Jim Mathias is sponsoring a bill that would have veterans driver’s licenses include military service.
In New Jersey, U.S. military veterans residing in Mercer County may now obtain a county photo identification card that also designates their status as a veteran. To get a Mercer County ID card, veterans must have lived in the county for at least six months. They must produce a valid birth certificate with a raised seal or a naturalization certificate and a valid state motor vehicle license or voter registration card or a lease agreement. They must also produce or register their DD-214 honorable discharge papers with the county clerk’s office. Veterans pay a half-price fee of $10 for an ID card. However, filing their DD-214 form is free of charge to Mercer County veterans. For further information, Mercer County veterans can call (609) 989-6473.