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Iowa driver’s licenses and ID cards now can have “veteran” designation

iowadotlogoAMES, Iowa – Jan. 15, 2013 – 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:

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.

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I just went to Veterans Affairs office and filled out the form and brought copies of my discharge and necessary forms for verify my service.

I was Iowa National Guard from July 61 to July 67. Our unit during that time was not called to “Active” duty with exception of local Iowa emergencies.

I find that while I served 6 years since we were not called to “Active” duty I am apparently not able to have “Veteran” added to my renewal of license.

I find this news not acceptable as there was a need to have “reserve” forces sign up during that time and I did so willingly and honorably with letters of commendation from officers I served under.

What a joke. Here, you can have the designation, we want to show our support by implementing it more quickly….BUT you have to wait until you are up for renewal.

It’s not a joke. You can go before your birthday if you want. The mind set should be not to spend $$$ where we don’t have too. We have to look for ways to spend less money instead of business as usual,

Yes, you can go one month before your current expiration. In my case that is in 2015. It should not be the fault of veteran’s that the DOT did not keep their prices in line with rising costs. As it stands anyone can lose their license and go have it replaced for the $2 or $3 it costs, but they will not add the endorsement for a vet.

The DOT is attempting to pass a change this year which would raise the cost to $10 and they would then change this rule so vets can get the endorsement immediately. Until this time we are out of luck.

Bettin anonymous is not a veteran. Just a whiner.

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