Veterans in the commonwealth can now show their status as easily as they show their ID.
On Tuesday, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation introduced a new designation available to be placed on drivers license and identification cards issued by the agency.
Veterans with the proper documentation can now choose to have the image of an American flag with the word "veteran" beneath it appear on the front of their license or ID card.
"The brave men and women who put their lives on the line as part of their service to this country deserve to be fully recognized for their efforts," Gov. Tom Corbett said on Tuesday at a kick-off event with members and veterans of the Pennsylvania National Guard. "Today, I am proud to be here as we kick off one more way we honor the service of our veterans here in Pennsylvania."
According to nearly identical Tuesday press releases from state Reps. Kathy Rapp and Martin Causer, "With the designation, veterans will be able to more easily demonstrate their veteran status and to take advantage of special offers and discounts available from businesses that choose to offer them."
To qualify for the designation, according to Corbett's press release, individuals must provide a Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty/DD214 or equivalent. The designation is open to those who served in the U.S. Armed Forces, Reserves, or the National Guard and were discharged from such service under conditions other than dishonorable.
Application for the designation is completely voluntary.
The designation does not require an additional fee beyond the standard cost for a renewal or duplicate license or ID card. Veterans may choose to wait until their next card renewal and have the designation added at no charge, or can request a new card with the designation immediately at the current fee for a duplicate license. A box has been added on the PennDOT form for the cards.
Additional costs for the designation beyond the standard fee are reimbursed to PennDOT by the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs from the state veterans trust fund to the state motor license fund.
Once the designation is added, it will automatically appear on each card renewal or duplication.
"The veterans designation on driver's licenses and identification cards now provides immediate recognition for veterans who may not otherwise have any military identification," Maj. Gen. Wesley Craig, adjutant general of Pennsylvania, said in the Corbett press release. "While participation is completely voluntary, it allows veterans to qualify for discounts or other benefits that they are eligible for."
Application for the designation can also be made online at www.dmv.state.pa.us by clicking on the American flag/veterans designation icon.
The designation was approved under Pennsylvania Act 176 of 2012.