Governor Steve Beshear Tuesday announced that military veterans can now be issued a driver’s license with a new “Veteran” designation.
“As a veteran myself, I know that service in our nation’s military is typically a point of lifelong pride among veterans,” Gov. Beshear said. “And this is one small way in which we can acknowledge the many men and women who have honorably worn the uniform.”
The 2012 General Assembly, through enactment of House Bill 221, authorized a special veteran designation on driver’s licenses.
The word “VETERAN” will be printed vertically and in capital letters along the right border of the license holder’s photo.
To obtain a license with the designation, a veteran must present a DD214 – the Department of Defense form that verifies service – at the office of the local circuit court clerk, where driver’s licenses are issued.
“I was happy to sponsor and vote for this bill that will help our veterans here in Kentucky to access any and all benefits that they are entitled to,” said State Rep. Rick Nelson, of Middlesboro.
The chair of the House’s Committee on Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection, Rep. Tanya Pullin, of South Shore, said she, too, was pleased to see the bill come to fruition.
“The designation of ‘Veteran’ on their driver’s license will help veterans receive the benefits which they have earned,” said Rep. Pullin, a co-sponsor of the bill. “I wish to personally thank the Circuit Clerks who worked closely with me on this bill and who were willing to take on the additional work to help veterans in Kentucky. My thanks, too, to the Transportation Cabinet for its commitment to serving veterans.”
Along with identifying those members of our community who have served in the military, the veteran designation may offer additional benefits.
“Many businesses in Kentucky want to offer discounts to veterans, but don’t realize that most veterans don’t carry identification confirming their veteran status,” said Ken Lucas, Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs. “Businesses have been kind enough to accept other documentation, but putting the ‘Veteran’ designation on an official state ID greatly simplifies the matter for both veterans and businesses.”
Gov. Beshear also announced a special accommodation for veterans who had to renew their driver’s licenses after July 12, when the new legislation became law, but before Sept. 24 when the required computer programming for circuit court clerks was completed.
Rather than require those veterans to wait until the next renewal period, in 2016, or require them to pay the standard $12 fee for a duplicate license, Gov. Beshear directed the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to work with circuit court clerks to issue reprinted licenses at no extra cost to the veterans until Dec. 31, 2012.
“Working in consultation with the Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks Association, we have developed a procedure for accommodating those veterans,” said Tom Zawacki, Commissioner of the cabinet’s Department of Vehicle Regulation.
“The Kentucky Circuit Clerks look forward to assisting the Veterans in obtaining a reprint of their license with the new ‘Veteran’ designation,” said Loretta Crady, president of the association.