New York State Driver Licenses to Identify Veterans
Brewster, N.Y. – (8/09/12) –Senator Greg Ball (R, C – Patterson) sponsored S6799, this bill will require that New York State Drivers Licenses or Identification Cards indicate the card holder is a veteran of the armed forces. To gain this distinct honor, veterans must present proof of veteran’s status, such as a certificate of release or discharge from active duty, including, but not limited to, a DD Form 214 or other proof satisfactory to the Commissioner.
Sadly, 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 allow the State of New York to finally communicate with the vast majority of veterans living in New York State.
“The biggest problem we face in providing services and benefits to veterans is actually being able to identify them, especially returning veterans. This bill will give veterans the option of indicating that they have served the United States 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. I am proud to be the sponsor of this bill in the Senate,” said Senator Greg Ball the Chairman of the Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee.
Eugene Parotta, Chairman of Senator Ball’s Veterans Advisory Council, said “Recent statistics show that returning veterans suffer from unemployment rates much higher than those of their civilian colleagues. Furthermore, those heroes returning with a service connected disability have even higher unemployment rates, sometimes by a multiple of the civilian unemployed workforce. In order to reach all veterans, but especially our returning veterans, this bill will ask all veterans to note their status as a veteran. This is a critical mission to provide the services necessary for employment, education, tax credits and more.”
Many businesses also 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.
“This law, if signed by the Governor, will help us identify our returning veterans and will also enable us to easily contact those who have served,” Assemblyman Robert Castelli said. “I am proud to be the cosponsor of this bill in the Assembly and look forward to continuing to support the men and women that have severed our country.”
The bill is awaiting Governor Cuomo’s action for approval.
For more information or to speak with Senator Ball, please contact Joe Bachmeier: (845) 200-9716.