Senator Bonacic: Veterans Can Now Get “Veterans” Designation on Driver’s Licenses and Non-Driver ID Cards

John J. Bonacic

October 04, 2013

New Law Makes it Easier for Veterans to Verify Their Status 

     Senator John J. Bonacic (R/C/I- Mt. Hope) announced today that a law he supported allowing the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to place a distinguishing mark on a driver's license or non-driver ID to indicate its holder is a veteran is now in effect. The law makes it easier for individuals to show proof that they are a veteran.

     "Our servicemen and women put their lives on the line to ensure our safety and freedom; this is one way to recognize their service and make their lives a little easier,” said Senator Bonacic. “Veterans often do not have an easily available source of ID to prove their status, and instead must carry multiple forms of ID. Now, they can obtain a single, easy to carry ID which is uniformly recognized, making it easier for them to obtain the benefits to which they are entitled.”

     Under the law, veterans can now request, at no additional cost that DMV print the word “veteran” on the upper left hand side of their driver’s license or non-driver ID card. To receive this status, veterans will have to submit proof that they were honorably discharged the next time they apply or reapply for a driver’s license or non-driver ID card.

To help veterans obtain the special license, DMV offers the following instructions and information:

-You must send or provide proof of an honorable discharge. If you apply by mail, send a photocopy of the proof(s). If you apply at a DMV office, you must show the original proof(s), which will be returned to you. Acceptable proofs are:

*U.S. Department of Defense Form DD-214 that indicates an honorable discharge, or

*A form DD-215 that indicates an honorable discharge, or

*An Honorable Discharge form WD AGO 53, WD AGO 55, WD AGO 53-55, NAVPERS 553, NAVMC 78PD or NAVCG 553, or

*An “Enlisted Separation Paper.

-You can apply for the veteran status designation when you renew your driver license by mail using your renewal notice (MV-2) and a photocopy of your proof of honorable discharge.

-You can apply at a DMV office for a renewal or a replacement document with the veteran status designation. Use the Application for Driver License or Non-Driver ID form MV-44.

-You cannot apply by phone or online.

-The veteran status will be printed on all of your future NYS DMV photo documents.

Veterans who would like more information on the veterans’ status can visit the DMV website at or contact their local DMV office.