By Debbie Gregory.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMC) has begun its salute to the state’s Veterans by issuing driver licenses and identification (ID) cards with veteran designations via the word “Veteran” printed on them.
As of November 12, 2015, eligible veterans could join CalVet’s new secretary, Dr. Vito Imbasciani and Paul Sullivan, the Deputy Secretary, in obtaining the new cards with the word “VETERAN” on the front . This Vet designation indicates that they have served in the U.S. Military.
The designation can also play a critical role in enabling access to certain privileges, benefits, or compensation associated with being a veteran, without having to carry and produce a Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty.
The DMV and the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) reminds Veterans that they must first visit a County Veteran Service Office (CVSO) and obtain a Veteran Status Verification Form before contacting a DMV to apply for the Veteran designation. This form is not available at the DMV.
Veterans will be required to pay a one-time $5 designation fee, in addition to any other application fees associated with a renewal, duplicate, or original driver license or ID card.
To apply for your Veteran designation, please follow these three easy steps: get your discharge certificate, visit any CVSO, and then visit any DMV.
STEP 1 – Find your military discharge certificate (DD214). If you need assistance obtaining your military records, contact any County Veteran Service Office (CVSO). To locate a CVSO, visit https://www.calvet.ca.gov/VetServices/Pages/CVSO-Locations.aspx or call 844-737-8838.
STEP 2 – Take your discharge certificate to any County Veteran Service Office (CVSO) to obtain your Veteran Status Verification Form.
STEP 3 – Present your completed and stamped Veteran Status Verification Form and driver license application to a DMV representative at your local DMV field office. (For faster service, make sure to make an appointment to visit a DMV field office at www.dmv.ca.gov or by calling 800-777-0133. ) Pay your $5 designation fee and related application fees.
Remember, Veterans must first visit a CVSO and obtain the Veteran Status Verification Form before setting an appointment at DMV. For answers to frequently asked questions, please visit CalVet’s website.