Posted by: Bob Dumas
ALBANY, N.Y. – Veterans who’ve been honorably discharged from the service can now have their New York driver’s licenses specially designated to reflect it, which will make it easier for veterans’ agencies to reach out to them and deliver benefits and services.
Providers of veterans’ services at the state, local, and even the federal level, do not currently have the ability to reach out to the veteran population effectively or accurately, according to state Sen. Greg Ball (R, C, I -Patterson), who is the chair of the Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee and sponsor of the bill. He said the new license will allow the state to better communicate with a vast majority of its veterans.
“The biggest problem we face in providing services and benefits to veterans is actually being able to identify them, especially returning veterans,” Ball said. “This [law] will 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.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state needs to do everything it can to assist veterans, both young and old.
“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. “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.”
In order to obtain this status from the New York 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 documents (DD-214) that 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.
Many businesses offer discounts to veterans and frequently they do not have an easily available source of identification to prove their status. Ball said that this bill will finally provide an ID card that is easy to carry and uniformly recognized. (ARTICLE)