Military veteran ID cards granted on honor system
Pennsylvania military veterans can apply for special driver's licenses or ID cards showing their veteran status, but the state is relying on “self-certification” and random audits to ensure no one is scamming discounts, benefits and recognition.
Residents can apply online or at any driver's license center to get a new or duplicate noncommercial driver's license or state ID card with an American flag and the word “veteran” on it.
Stan Schubert, 71, commandant of the Bantam Marine League Detachment in Butler County and a Vietnam War veteran, said he was surprised applicants did not have to show a DD214 form — an official military service record — to get the IDs.
“They may check; they may not check. Who knows?” he said. “I wish they would require more proof.”
Other than having the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs conduct random checks of eligible vets against lists of those who receive the veteran designation, PennDOT is relying on applicants to be honest and “self-certify” their status when signing up, said PennDOT spokeswoman Jan McKnight.
“They will be audited ... and anybody found to be fraudulent will have their driver's license or ID canceled,” she said.
Joan Nissley, spokeswoman for Military and Veterans Affairs, said her agency will receive daily updates on all who applied for or received the veteran designation on their cards, and will audit 10 percent to 20 percent selected at random. As of Thursday, 2,500 people had signed up for the new cards.
The cards can prove a veteran's qualifications for discounts at stores and restaurants, but stricter documentation is required to claim VA benefits or access to military facilities.
They can help emergency responders recognize someone dealing with post-traumatic stress or habits picked up during deployment, such as a former convoy driver in the habit of driving quickly through dangerous areas, Nissley said.
“This is also a way for Pennsylvania to recognize and honor the service of our veterans,” she said. “If you're in a store and see someone with the ‘veteran' card, you can say, ‘Thank you for your service.' ”
There is no cost for the veteran designation, though the usual fees for renewing a license, state ID card or duplicate still apply.
Commercial driver's licenses also can have the designation but require a separate form and cannot be obtained online.
More information is available at dmv.state.pa.us under the “Veterans Designation” link.
Matthew Santoni is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
Add Matthew Santoni to your Google+ circles.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pennsylvania House votes to downsize itself
- Pa. Gov. Wolf’s general counsel tied to $358M bond project winner
- Deadly fire in Chester County ruled accidental
- Feds say Philadelphia drug squad hid behind their badges
- Small-town police struggle to survive as tax bases shrink
- Family of 6 escapes just before freight train slams car in Lawrence County
- Decline in fire volunteers in Pennsylvania hits ‘crisis stage’
- 300 Pa. State Police personnel to aid in Baltimore
- Congressman rejects calls for recusal over romance with lobbyist
- Pa. state police: Crash that injured Senator Browne may be DUI
- Pennsylvania House approves increase in 911 phone bill fee to $1.65