AMES- A new Iowa law will allow veterans to have a "veteran" designation put on their driver's license (DL) or nonoperator identification card (ID). The Iowa Department of Transportation is implementing the law Jan. 15, nearly six months earlier than is required, to demonstrate the state's support for its veterans.
Governor Branstad signed Senate File 2112 into law on April 19, 2012; it requires the veteran designation provision of the law to be implemented by July 1, 2013. The designation on Iowa DLs and nonoperator IDs is a voluntary initiative designed to assist Iowa veterans.
"There are thousands of businesses throughout Iowa and the United States, including restaurants, hotels and even home improvement stores that give discounts to veterans. Some of those businesses require proof of veteran status. Iowa legislators responded to the veterans' needs and authorized the DOT to include veteran status on DLs and nonoperator IDs so they don't have to carry official military papers to prove their veteran status," said Iowa DOT Motor Vehicle Division Director Mark Lowe.
To get the designation, an honorably discharged veteran must present a copy of their DD 214 or applicable discharge document to their county Veterans Affairs office. That office will complete an Iowa DOT form and confirm the applicant's veteran status, which authorizes the Iowa DOT to place the designation on the individual's DL or nonoperator ID. The veteran must then take the completed form to any Iowa DL issuance location and request that the veteran designation be added to his or her DL or nonoperator ID card.
Veterans may expedite the process by bringing a completed application form with them to the county Veterans Affairs office, along with a copy of their DD 214.
The form is available online at:
va.iowa.gov/ Iowa law only allows the designation to be added when a DL or nonoperator ID is first issued or when it is renewed. The law does not allow the designation to be added on a duplicate card issued between renewals. Iowa veterans who currently hold an Iowa DL or ID card should be aware that they cannot add the designation to their current DL or nonoperator ID until it is time for their next renewal. Iowa law allows a DL or nonoperator ID to be renewed 30 days before it expires, but if special circumstances are demonstrated that show it would be impractical to wait until then and that good cause exists to renew earlier, Iowa law allows DLs and nonoperator IDs to be renewed up to one year before the expiration date.