Tonawanda News — New York state will allow qualified residents to indicate their status as a veteran on state driver’s licenses, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday.
Cuomo, who signed legislation into law last year permitting the move, said on Thursday he directed state Department of Motor Vehicles to make the status available to those honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces. The option is also available for permits or non-driver identification cards.
“Allowing veterans to have their status indicated on their driver licenses, permits or non-driver identifications 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,” Cuomo said.
Several veteran groups lauded passage of the law, including Ret. Col. Eric J. Hesse, director of the state Division of Veterans Affairs.
“This is just one of many examples of New York state’s high-level of commitment to honoring and supporting our returning service members,” he said.
In order to obtain the DMV status, applicants must mark the appropriate box on the application form and show their original Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD-214).
For those who qualify, the word “Veteran” will be printed on the upper left corner of their newly issued driver’s license, permit or non-driver identification. There are no additional fees for qualified veterans to receive the status, Cuomo said.
Applicants may apply either through the mail at renewal time or by visiting their local DMV office for a renewal or replacement document. The licenses cannot be ordered by phone or online.
Cuomo said 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.
“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.