A bill to eliminate a Department of Motor Vehicle-imposed driver's license fee on veterans has been introduced in Albany.
In 2012, the New York legislature passed a measure allowing qualified U.S. military veterans to obtain a New York State driver license with a special veteran designation, thereby eliminating the need for veterans to carry separate documentation proving their military service.
The law, now in effect, allows any veteran who was honorably discharged to have the word “Veteran” printed on the upper left hand corner of his or her New York State driver’s license, learning permit or non-driver photo I.D. card.
Since many local businesses provide discounts to veterans, the legislation was set up to provide convenience for veterans by eliminating the need to carry additional proof of service for some of the benefits provided by local businesses.
However, those who wish to trade in their current license for one with the “Veteran” distinction prior to their license renewal are required to pay a $12.50 DMV fee.
Veterans should not be charged for the distinction they have earned while serving in the armed forces, according to Martins, who recently introduced legislation which would eliminate the fee.
“To charge those who have answered our nation’s call a fee to have their service recognized on their driver’s license is wrong," said Martins in a press release Tuesday. "They’ve earned the right to be called a veteran.”
Andrew Booth, co-chair of the Nassau County American Legion’s Legislative Committee, who has already gotten the distinction put on his license, fully supports the bill.
“I know the economy is bad, but the money shouldn’t be taken from the veterans,” Booth said.