Highland News Leader

Help available for local veterans to get certified discharge form

This example shows how veterans can receive recognition for their service on their Illinois driver’s license or state ID card.
This example shows how veterans can receive recognition for their service on their Illinois driver’s license or state ID card. Courtesy image

Illinois veterans can receive official recognition of their service on their state-issued identification, and Highland American Legion Post 439 is sponsoring an event to help them get the necessary paperwork to receive the honor.

“The state if Illinois has a program that will allow and veteran of any branch of the U.S. military that has received an honorable discharge to have a ‘VETERAN’ designation on their driver’s license directly below their photo,” said Bill Halcomb, senior vice commander/adjutant for Post 439.

It is not necessary to have any affiliation with any veterans organization. The only requirement is that you are a veteran who has received an honorable discharge from any branch of the United States military. 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 the designation on their driver’s licenses.

“If they are having their license renewed, there will be no charge to have the ‘VETERAN’ added to the renewal. If they want it done without a renewal, there would be a $5 charge for that to be done,” Halcomb said.

An updated ID card can be done for $10. Veterans over the age of 65 can obtain an updated state ID card at no cost.

However, to receive the “VETERAN” designation on the driver’s license/ID card, veterans must obtain official certification their DD-214 or Form 13038 from the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) to bring to present to the Secretary of State.

There will be an officer from the IDVA at American Legion Post 439, located at 1130 Old Trenton Road in Highland, on Saturday, Sept. 24 from 9 a.m. until noon to certify “readable” DD-214s for local veterans to enable their inclusion in the I.D. program.

By showing this “VETERAN” annotated driver’s license or I.D. card, vets will qualify for discounts at many restaurants, stores and many shows in tourists locations, plus they will have the honor of receiving recognition for the service to the country.

How To Get The “VETERAN” Designation

To obtain a “VETERAN” designation on a driver’s license or state ID card, veterans must be an honorably discharged U.S. veteran.

They must take their DD-214 or Certification of Military Service (NA Form 13038) to a Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office to have a certification stamp placed on a readable DD-214 or Form 13038, and then bring the certified DD-214 or Form 13038 to any Secretary of State facility.

Applicants will leave the facility with a temporary, secure paper driver’s license, which is valid for 45 days and will serve as their license for driving purposes and proof of identification. The temporary, secure paper driver’s license will contain a photo and the basic information that appears on the permanent driver’s license or state ID card. In addition, the facility employee will return the old DL/state ID card back to the applicant.

Guard and Reserve

In order to receive a 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 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: Army or Air National Guard NGB 22 Report of Separation and Record of Service; Army Reserve DARP FM 249-2E Chronological Statement of Retirement Points; Navy Reserve NRPC 1070-124 Annual Retirement Point Record; Air Force Reserve AF 526 Point Summary Sheet; USMC Reserve NAVMC 798 Reserve Retirement Credit Report; or Coast Guard CG 4175 Coast Guard Reserve Annual or Terminal Statement of Retirement Points.