Wisconsin: Veterans Can Soon Get Special Driver’s Licenses

Update:

The new identifier, pictured on the mock license above, is designed to make it easier for veterans to access programs they're eligible for while protecting their privacy. Credit Patty Murray/WPR News
The new identifier, pictured on the mock license above, is designed to make it easier for veterans to access programs they’re eligible for while protecting their privacy. Credit Patty Murray/WPR News

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Beginning on December 2, 2013 Wisconsin veterans will be eligible for a special designation on their driver’s licenses.

The “Veteran Identifier” will appear in red at the bottom of a license or state ID card, and simply reads, “VETERAN.” The identifier is designed to make it easier for veterans to access programs they’re eligible for while protecting their privacy.

To qualify for it, veterans must first clear their service status with the state Department of Veterans Affairs.

Department Secretary John Scocos announced the program in Green Bay. He says a lot of private businesses offer deals for vets, but asked his agency for a simple way to know if someone really served.

Scocos says the identifier will also ease the way for some veterans to get what they’re entitled to from other agencies, like the Department of Natural Resources. For example, he says, if a disabled veteran wants to apply for a discounted fishing or hunting license, “he doesn’t have to bring anything confidential like his DD214 with him that has his military record.”

Most other states already have a similar identifier.

Veterans have to first verify their service with Veterans Affairs, either by phone or online. The information will be forwarded to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Vets should not go directly to the DMV because clerks aren’t qualified to recognize service records.

Alan Willis, who has retired from a career in the Air Force, says he’ll apply for it.

“It’s a good identifier for whatever – jobs, schooling, or whatever,” says Willis. “I think it’s a good program.”

The first licenses will be issued on Dec. 2, but veterans can begin the application process now. The new cards will be free if a service member is within one year of the regular renewal; otherwise, they will have to pay $14 for a duplicate license.

 

 

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