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.