Pennsylvania to honor vets on licenses

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 11/15/2012

Pennsylvania truckers and others who have served their country will soon have access to a simple form of ID showing their military service.

Gov. Tom Corbett signed a bill into law on Monday, Nov. 12, that entitles military veterans to a special “V” designation on their driver’s licenses, or identification cards.

Previously HB2428, the new law requires the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to make the designation available to persons who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces or National Guard and who were discharged or released from such service under conditions other than dishonorable.

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,” Rep. Jeff Pyle, R-Armstrong, said in a recent statement.

The designation will also simplify the process for veterans to apply for government services or qualify for discounts.

“Sometimes, it is difficult for veterans to prove their military service unless they carry their discharge papers with them all the time,” stated Rep. Tina Picket, R-Bradford. “By adding this designation to their driver’s license, veterans will be able to more easily access the benefits they’ve earned or receive non-governmental benefits such as retail discounts.”

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

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