The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

January 6, 2014

Stanly veterans have another way of showing service

By Luanne Williams, for the SNAP

Monday, January 6, 2014 — Stanly County’s 5,000-plus military veterans now have a chance to be recognized as such on their drivers’ licenses or identification cards.

Late last year the state’s division of motor vehicles began offering the service which was approved by lawmakers more than a year ago.

Rod Barbee, Stanly County veterans services director, said the designation is important, especially since many vets do not have any kind of ID to recognize their service.

“Unless you are 20-year retired, service-connected disabled at 100 percent or a spouse of someone who is, or receiving healthcare at a VA facility, you would have no veteran picture ID,” Barbee said.

“So this designation will help a lot of them at restaurants or other businesses that offer discounts.”

Although many veterans have been awaiting the designation since House Bill 159 was approved in June 2012, even now, the special label will simply be a decal featuring the United States and North Carolina flags attached to the back of the license or ID card. But beginning in February, the word “veteran” will be printed on the face of the card above the date of birth.

There is no additional cost for either process. However, to obtain the designation, veterans must request a $10 duplicate driver license or, if it is time to renew, they must pay the regular renewal fee. In either case, applicants must bring a DD214 reflecting an honorable discharge in order to request a veteran designation.

Barbee said the decal or veteran label is no guarantee that businesses advertising discounts will follow through, as some may only give benefits to 20-year retirees or those with service-connected disabilities.

“I don’t know whether some businesses will honor these, but that is why they were developed,” he said.

Veterans considering whether to apply for the decal or wait for the printed licenses can view an example of each at the Veterans Services office at Stanly County Commons, 1000 N. First St.. Albemarle, or visit online at files/2013/10/Veteran_ Designation_Solution_Info_3.pdf.

Luanne Williams is a freelance contributor for The Stanly News & Press.