Brewster, N.Y. – 10/15/2013 – Senator Greg Ball (R, C, I – Patterson) has announced that he supports waiving the state transaction fee for veterans who now have the option of amending their New York State driver license, permit or non-driver identification to indicate their status as a veteran thanks to bill that was sponsored by the Senator.
The law which passed last year, directs the 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. Currently, if not up for renewal, a veteran would need to pay $12.50 transaction fee to make the change.
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.
“I passed this bill for many reasons, but the best reason is so we can now locate and provide services to veterans who earned benefits from their service yet are not currently taking advantage of those services. Veterans have paid for this special drivers license through blood, sweat and tears and it should be free for all honorably discharged veterans,” said Senator Greg Ball, Chairman of the Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee. “That said, getting the Assembly to agree to waive the fee will require a Herculean effort, but one worth the fight.”
Putnam County Clerk Dennis Sant stated, “I am amazed that New York State would have the great idea of finally allowing our veterans to have their status printed on their license and non-driver ID card, and then charge them extra $12.50 for the privilege.” Mr. Sant queried, “Is NYS that cash poor that we must ask those who served our nation honorably to pony up a little more for some extra printing on a document? This is totally ridiculous! Any veteran who wants to display their status on their license or ID card should be allowed to do so for FREE.”
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.
Many businesses 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.
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