Albany, NY (October 3, 2012)
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation allowing the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to place a distinguishing mark on a driver's license, or non-driver ID, to indicate its holder is a veteran. Under this law, a veteran of the United States Armed Forces may request to have this veteran status mark from the DMV.
Many local businesses across the state currently provide discounts to veterans. This law will make it more simple and convenient for veterans to show and verify to a business their status as veterans on a driver's license or non-driver ID without having to carry multiple forms of identification. In order to obtain this status from the DMV, applicants 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," Governor Cuomo said. "We are proud to help distinguish them as veterans."
The law takes effect in one year.
In the meantime, DMV will revise its application forms and make other accommodations to handle requests for a status mark. In addition, the review of documents supporting an honorable discharge from the armed forces will be an additional task for DMV staff during the license renewal process, and license renewals for those requesting a mark will be processed manually. Currently, routine renewals are processed automatically.
Senator Greg Ball said, "It is impossible to fully express both my excitement and appreciation for the Governor's support. The biggest problem we face in providing services and benefits to veterans is actually being able to identify them, especially returning veterans. This will now give veterans the option of indicating their service 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 and I thank the Governor for his continued support and leadership on this critical matter."
Assemblyman Bob Sweeney said, "This new law will make it easy for veterans to identify themselves to businesses who choose to offer discounts. The law will provide assistance to veterans and recognize their service. I would like to thank Governor Cuomo for signing this bill into law and Mr. Bill Linder of Copiague, Lt. Commander, U.S. Navy (retired) for suggesting the idea."