GOV. SIGNS SEN. BALL’S BILL TO HELP VETERANS
New York State Driver Licenses to Identify Veterans
Brewster, N.Y. – 10/03/2012 – Today Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has signed Senator Greg Ball’s (Patterson – R, C) bill S6799 into law. This bill requires that New York State Drivers Licenses or Identification Cards indicate the card holder is a veteran of the armed forces. To gain this distinct honor, veterans must present proof of veteran’s status, such as a certificate of release or discharge from active duty, including, but not limited to, a DD Form 214 or other proof satisfactory to the Commissioner.
Providers of veterans services at the state, local and even the federal level, do not currently have the ability to reach out to the veterans population, effectively or accurately. This driver’s license “check-off” will now allow the State of New York to finally communicate with the vast majority of veterans living in New York State.
“These men and women have made invaluable sacrifices for our state and nation, and now that they have returned home, government will work for them,” Governor Cuomo said. “We are proud to help distinguish them as veterans.”
“It is impossible to fully express both my excitement and appreciation for the Governor’s support. The biggest problem we face in providing services and benefits to veterans is actually being able to identify them, especially returning veterans. This will now give veterans the option of indicating their service on their driver’s licenses. Once identified we can pro-actively communicate with veterans to connect them to the hundreds of services and benefits available. I am proud to be the sponsor of this bill and I thank the Governor for his continued support and leadership on this critical matter,” said Senator Greg Ball the Chairman of the Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee.
“I couldn’t be happier that Senator Ball’s bill has been signed by the Governor. I would like to thank Senator Ball for his leadership to help all veterans statewide,” said Eugene Parotta, Chairman of Senator Ball’s Veterans Advisory Council. “Recent statistics show that returning veterans suffer from unemployment rates much higher than those of their civilian colleagues. Furthermore, those heroes returning with a service connected disability have even higher unemployment rates, sometimes by a multiple of the civilian unemployed workforce. This is a critical mission to provide the services necessary for employment, education, tax credits and more.”
Many businesses also offer discounts to veterans, and often time’s veterans do not have an easily available source of identification to prove their status. This bill will finally provide an ID card that is easy to carry, and is uniformly recognized.
The law takes effect in one year.
In the meantime, DMV will revise its application forms and make other accommodations to handle requests for a status mark. In addition, the review of documents supporting an honorable discharge from the armed forces will be an additional task for DMV staff during the license renewal process, and license renewals for those requesting a mark will be processed manually. Currently, routine renewals are processed automatically.
For more information or to speak with Senator Ball, please contact Joe Bachmeier at (845) 200 9716.