Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced today that beginning July 1, 2015, U.S. military veterans will be able to get an updated driver’s license/ID card with the word “VETERAN” displayed under the signature on the front of the card.
“I am pleased to offer this service to our military veterans who have given so much of themselves for the greater good of this nation,” said White. “I had the honor of serving as a paratrooper in the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division and as a member of the Illinois National Guard and Army Reserve. There is no greater honor than serving your country, and our veterans can now proudly display their service on their driver’s license or ID card, which will help them receive the services and benefits they richly deserve.”
Public Act 97-0739, which was supported by White, allows veterans who have received an Honorable or General under Honorable Conditions discharge to pursue the veteran’s designation on their driver’s license or ID card. The veteran’s designation will help ensure military veterans living in Illinois receive the services and benefits for which they are entitled, including healthcare, education and employment assistance.
The process is simple. First, veterans must obtain official certification from the Illinois Dept. of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA). They can do so by visiting one of the IDVA offices throughout the state and providing a copy of their DD-214 or Certification of Military Service (NA Form 13038). For more information, veterans may contact the IVDA at 1-800-437-9824 or click here. Secondly, after the necessary certification is obtained from an IDVA office, the veteran may apply for a new, renewal or updated driver’s license or ID card at any Secretary of State Driver Service’s facility.
“The mission at IDVA is to serve those who have served,” said Erica Jeffries, Director, IDVA. “We are so pleased to partner with the Secretary of State’s office to offer this benefit to our veterans. Our veterans have given their service to our nation and now, every time they use their state identification, Illinoisans will have the opportunity to say ‘Thank you for your service!’”
The designation will be no additional cost for first-time driver’s license applicants and driver’s license renewals. If veterans choose to add the designation before their renewal date, they may obtain an updated driver’s license for $5 and an updated ID card for $10. Veterans over the age of 65 can obtain an updated state ID card at no cost.
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