TIMES UNION: SPECIAL DRIVER’S LICENSES AVAILABLE FOR VETS

 

    By Casey Seiler

    New York residents who are military veterans can apply to the state Department of Motor Vehicles for a special designation on their driver’s license.

    The special licenses are intended to eliminate the need for veterans to carry separate documentation proving their military service in order to take advantage of discounts or other programs available to vets.

    Whether it will result in smoother traffic stops for designated vets is open to interpretation.

    The bill was introduced by Sen. Greg Ball, an Air Force veteran. It went into effect on Thursday, a year after being signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

    “The men and women of the armed forces have sacrificed so much for our state and nation, and it is only appropriate that we do everything we can to support them,” Cuomo said in a statement. “Allowing veterans to have their status indicated on their driver licenses, permits or non-driver IDs will not only make it easier for them to receive the benefits to which they are entitled, but also provides another way for them to show their pride in having honorably served our country.”

    The website MilitaryBenefits.info, which tracks similar measures nationwide, records that three dozen state DMVs offer designations for veterans. A handful of others offer a separate ID card.

    The designation is available to any U.S. military veteran who was honorably discharged and can be marked on a New York driver’s license, learner permit or non-driver photo ID card. There is no additional fee for the designation beyond standard rates for a new license.

    Applicants can prove their service by showing an official honorable discharge form or an “Enlisted Separation Paper.”

    Veterans can apply for the designation when they renew driver’s licenses by mail using a renewal notice and a photocopy of proof of honorable discharge. Or they can apply at a DMV office for a renewal or a replacement document with the veteran status designation.

    For more, visit the state DMV at http://www.dmv.ny.gov. (ARTICLE)