Veteran Driver’s License
Since July 1, 2015 U.S. military veterans are able to get an updated driver’s license/ID card with the “VETERAN” under the signature on the front of the card.
“I am pleased to offer this service to our military veterans who have given so much of themselves for the greater good of this nation,” said Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White.
This designation helps ensure military veterans living in Illinois who have received an Honorable or General under Honorable Conditions discharge receive the services and benefits for which they are entitled.
“The mission at IDVA is to serve those who have served,” said Erica Jeffries, Director, Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs. “We are so pleased to partner with the Secretary of State’s office to offer this benefit to our veterans. Our veterans have given their service to our nation and now, every time they use their state identification, Illinoisans will have the opportunity to say ‘Thank you for your service!’”
To receive the “VETERAN” designation on the driver’s license/ID card, veterans must obtain official certification from the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA). They can do so by one of two means. They can visit one of the IDVA offices throughout the state and provide a copy of their DD-214 or Certification of Military Service (NA Form 13038) or they may complete the process by mail.
To obtain the certification by mail, veterans must complete a Consent to Release of Information (Click Here for Document) (http://www.illinois.gov/veterans/Documents/consentrelease.pdf) and send it along with their DD-214/NAF 13038 and a legible copy of their driver’s license/ID card to the local veteran service officer. Requests may also be Faxed to (217) 782-4161 or mailed to the below address:
Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs
PO Box 19432 (Attn: DL Cert)
833 S. Spring St
Springfield, IL 62794-9432
The IDVA will certify the discharge document and mail it back to the veteran. After the necessary certification is obtained from the IDVA, the veteran may apply for a new, renewal or updated driver’s license or ID card at any Secretary of State Driver Service’s facility.
The designation will be no additional cost for first-time driver’s license applicants and driver’s license renewals. If veterans choose to add the designation before their renewal date, they may obtain an updated driver’s license for $5 and an updated ID card for $10. Veterans over the age of 65 can obtain an updated state ID card at no cost.
UPDATE – July 15, 2016
Former members of the Guard and Reserve who do not have any periods of active duty other than their initial active duty for training and annual training are now eligible to receive “Veteran” on their driver’s licenses. “This bill ensures that every man and woman who has served this state and nation is recognized,” said Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director Erica Jeffries. “Our veterans have given so much for us, and I am glad Illinois is taking this step to expand designations.”
At the 98th Annual American Legion Department of Illinois Convention in Springfield last Friday (7/15/2016), Governor Bruce Rauner signed Senate Bill 2173 to allow National Guard members and reservists to obtain the veteran identifier on their Illinois driver’s license.
In order to receive that designation, veterans of the Guard and Reserve are required to present a copy of their certificate of release or discharge from initial active duty, certified and stamped by the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs (IDVA), to the Secretary of State.
Prior to receiving this stamp they must provide documentation of satisfactorily completing the time for which they were contracted to attend monthly drills and annual training. Presentation of one of the following documents will be accepted as proof of service:
1. Army or Air National Guard NGB 22 Report of Separation and Record of Service
2. Army Reserve DARP FM 249-2E Chronological Statement of
3. Navy Reserve NRPC 1070-124 Annual Retirement Point Record
4. Air Force Reserve AF 526 Point Summary Sheet
5. USMC Reserve NAVMC 798 Reserve Retirement Credit Report
6. Coast Guard CG 4175 Coast Guard Reserve Annual or Terminal
Statement of Retirement Points.
Veterans are encouraged to contact or visit a local IDVA office for assistance obtaining any of the above documents. To find the closest Veteran Service Officer (VSO) go to www.illinois.gov/veterans (http://www.illinois.gov/veterans) or call 800-437-9824.