Legislation authorizing the Secretary of State to add a veterans designation on Michigan driver's licenses and state IDs was signed today by Gov. Rick Snyder.
"We're proud of our military veterans and of everything they have sacrificed," Snyder said. "This new law is one more way of honoring their service and making everyone aware of the many Michiganders who have defended our country in uniform."
House Bill 4037, sponsored by state Rep. Nancy Jenkins, adds a veterans designation to Michigan driver's licenses for veterans who request it and show proof of military service with an honorable discharge. A companion bill, Senate Bill 219 sponsored by state Sen. Darwin Booher, adds the designation to state issued ID cards when requested and proof of military service with honorable discharge is presented. The designation will be available on driver's licenses and personal state IDs beginning May 2014.
"The veterans designation is great way for Michigan to honor those who have served and makes it easier for veterans to access discounts and offers from retailers, restaurants and hotels who offer special opportunities to veterans," said Maj. Gen. Gregory Vadnais, director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. "It's another great step that improves the quality of life for Michigan's veterans."
While allowing veterans to qualify for discounts, the veteran's designation on a driver's license or ID is not legal proof of prior military service and will not replace the DD214 when a veteran applies for federal or state benefit programs requiring proof of military service and honorable discharge.
"This is a small way to say thank you to veterans who have done so much for us, for this country," said Secretary of State Ruth Johnson. "They'll have easy-to-carry, clear-cut proof of their service to help them more easily access the benefits they have earned and deserve. It's my hope that every store clerk and every bank teller who sees the special designation takes a moment to thank that veteran."
Michigan, home to some 680,000 veterans, is the 28th state to put a veterans designation on state-issued IDs and driver's licenses.
HB 4037 and SB 219 are now Public Acts 27 and 28 of 2013. For more information on legislation, visit michiganlegislature.org.