We Get Support From:
Become a Supporter 
 We Get Support From:
Become a Supporter 

California To Offer Special Driver Licenses For Veterans

DMV/CalVet image
 

DMV/CalVet image

There’s some good news this Veterans Day for vets who live in California: Starting Thursday, the state will offer a special new “veteran” designation on driver licenses.

Advocates hope that will make it easier to find appropriate care for veterans who are injured or arrested.

It’s only a small addition to driver licenses: the word “veteran” next to the organ donor sticker. But to Vietnam-era Navy vet Donald Fields, it’s a quick and easy way to identify himself – without carrying his military discharge certificate, known as a DD 214, everywhere he goes.

“If you want to get some free food or whatever, benefits that they have, you need to dig in and find your DD 214, which – you know, it’s a copy that you have to find to make sure that you put in the same place all the time,“ Fields said after stopping by a news conference announcing the program on Tuesday. “So now, in the back of your wallet, you’ll have this designation and it’s just fantastic.”

The program was established under a law signed last year. Vets can take discharge certificates to their County Veteran Service Officer to get a Veteran Status Verification Form. Then, he or she can make an appointment with the DMV and take that verification form in.

It costs an extra $5 on top of other driver license fees.

Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio 

Sign up for ReCap

and never miss the top stories

Delivered to your inbox every Wednesday.

Check out a sample ReCap newsletter.