Pennsylvania bill would honor vets on licenses

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 10/3/2012

Pennsylvania truckers and others who have served their country could soon be able to get special recognition from the state.

The Pennsylvania House voted unanimously on Monday, Oct. 1, to advance a bill that would entitle military veterans to a special designation on their driver’s licenses, or identification cards. The bill – HB2428 – now moves to the Senate.

Sponsored by Rep. Jeff Pyle, R-Armstrong, the bill requires the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to make available to persons who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces or National Guard and who have been honorably discharged a special designation on their driver’s license or ID.

The program is expected to take 12 to 18 months to implement. At that time, people renewing their driver’s licenses can request the designation to be included.

“The cost of the regular license renewal will remain the same, but there is no additional cost to the veteran for the special designation mark,” Pyle said in a statement.

Advocates also point out that the designation will simplify the process for veterans to apply for government services or qualify for discounts offered by stores and restaurants.

A fiscal note attached to the bill puts the expense to the state at $660,000 for the first full year. Annual expenses would be about $40,000. Costs would be covered through the Pennsylvania Veterans Trust Fund.

The bill awaits consideration in the Senate Transportation Committee.

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