Tonawanda News

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October 4, 2012

Drivers licenses to show vet stamp

Tonawanda News — Veterans will have an easier time identifying their past and present roles in the U.S. Armed Forces after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed new legislation into law on Wednesday. 

The bill will allow the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles to place a “distinguishing mark on a driver’s license, or non-driver ID, to indicate its holder is a veteran.”

Under this law, which will not take affect for another year, a veteran may request to have this veteran status mark from the DMV, though the designed concept has yet to be decided.

Cuomo said many local businesses across the state currently provide discounts to veterans and by more clearly showing their past service it will simplify the process of receiving those benefits. Applicants, however, will have to submit proof that they were honorably discharged from the armed forces.

“These men and women have made invaluable sacrifices for our state and nation, and now that they have returned home, government will work for them,” Cuomo said in a statement. “We are proud to help distinguish them as veterans.”

Assemblyman Robin Schimminger said the addition to veteran’s licenses will be much like the “Under 21” mark added some years ago to state licenses, though part of the challenge will be finding space for it.

“Their eligibility will be readily ascertainable,” he said. “A comprehensive approach like this simplifies the ability of vets to benefit from discounts and the like.” 

Schimminger added that he is weary of the extra work that will come for employees of the DMV, though it is for “a very worthy purpose.”

“I believe however it will not take effect for one year during which time the DMV will have more than ample time to prepare the necessary forms and applications and determine what types of documentation is required,” Schimminger said. 

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