News 13 continues to keep veterans up to date on benefits available to them. Some vets may not be taking advantage of one in particular that could save money. Details in this Problem Solver report.
You see and hear about businesses in our area who express their gratitude throughout the year to veterans by offering discounts. Those currently serving carry an active identification card. Many of those retired do the same. But, what about other veterans? There's thousands and thousands of us that served and when we got out they gave us a DD-214 piece of paper and said put it in a safe place and I did 48 years ago. Now I don't know where it is," says Air Force veteran Darrell Malloy.
The form DD-214 Darrell Malloy mentioned is issued when military members out-process that shows the nature of the separation or retirement. But, it is not convenient to carry around all the time. So, the state of Florida passed a law in 2011 to make it easier. Malloy tells News 13, "Jerry...this was something I was not aware of until I called the veterans service here in town." And, that lead to another call and information from Congressman Steve Southerland's office.
The law became official with Governor Rick Scott's signature in July 2011. Veterans honorably discharged from the military can get a special designation on their driver's license. The card looks normal but also allows for a blue "V" on the bottom portion. It also applies to state-issued I-D cards. For Malloy, the process at the Driver's License office did not take long. He says, "within ten minutes…I had a new driver's license with a "V" on it and now I am recognized as a veteran where ever I go by just showing that driver's license."
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles just over 2900 (2,913) veterans in Bay County have applied for and received their special designation driver's license. A little more than 700 or so vets in Jackson county (754) and Walton (733) have been issued the license. Statewide, the total is just over 153,000 (153,078)
So, here is how you get one of the special licenses at the driver's license office. According to the Florida Department of Highways and Motor Vehicles:
I have information linked to this story on businesses across the country that have extended discounts to veterans. But, the list may vary, so be sure to check with each before you make a purchase.