O'Mara reminder: a new law and another way to help salute the service of our veterans

Thomas F. O'Mara

October 08, 2013

Elmira, N.Y., October 8—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C-Big Flats) today reminded area veterans and veterans’ families that a new law he co-sponsored last year (S.6799, Chapter 487 of the Laws of 2012) recently took effect and, as a result, New York State veterans now have the option of having their status as a veteran indicated on their New York State driver license, permit or non-driver identification card.

The newly effective law directs the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to make the veteran’s status available to all honorably discharged veterans of the United States Armed Forces who apply for the designation on a DMV-issued photo document.

“This new law represents one more way to help honor our veterans, but also to help ensure that we’re making the services and benefits our veterans have earned and deserve readily available and easily accessible,” said O’Mara.  “It’s also another way for our veterans to show their pride, and I’m certainly proud to have had the opportunity to sponsor it.”

Supporters of the new law note, for example, that many local businesses across the state currently provide discounts to veterans. This option makes it simpler and more convenient for veterans to show and verify to a business their status as veterans without having to carry multiple forms of identification.

In order to obtain this status from the DMV, applicants must mark the appropriate box on the application form (MV-44 or MV-2) and show their original Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD-214) which states either “Honorable” or “Under Honorable Conditions” in the “Character of service” section. 

Eligible veterans who request to have this status from the DMV will have the word “Veteran” printed on the upper left corner of their newly issued driver license, permit or non-driver ID. There are no additional fees for qualified veterans to receive the status on their driver license or non-driver ID. However, the regular fees for an original license or non-driver ID, a license or non-driver ID renewal or a duplicate driver license or non-driver ID still apply. 

Applicants may apply either through the mail at renewal time (a photocopy of the DD-214 form is acceptable) or by visiting their local DMV office for a renewal or replacement document. The licenses cannot be ordered by phone or online.

For more information on the veteran’s status option, visit the DMV website at http://www.dmv.ny.gov/armedforces.htm.