Letters to the Editor

Red tape

I recently received a Illinois license renewal letter from the Secretary of State’s office. The letter outlined all the renewal options available to me as a designated “Safe Driver.”

They also had a bonus offer for “honorable discharged U.S. veterans;” they could get that veteran designation printed on their license.

Sadly should I want to take Jesse White up on his offer all bets would be off as far as on-line, phone, or mail renewal. The vet option required a personal visit to a driver’s license facility with a certified and stamped (by the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs) copy of my DD Form 214 - Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, in hand.

I fired off a letter to the Secretary expressing my disappointment with perceived unnecessary bureaucratic red tape required just to get “VETERAN” recognition on my driver’s license.

A DD Form 214 is a standalone federal document. Why does some other agency have to “certify” it? I’m already carrying a DD Form 2 (Retired), Identification Card, around in my wallet. Why can’t that suffice?

Amazingly I already have armed forces retired license plates on all my vehicles. For that distinction “qualified service members or veterans” need to show “discharge papers, valid military ID, or other official certificates” to qualify.

Standardization and a little streamlining at the DMV on behalf of vets would be greatly appreciated.

No response yet from the Secretary on my letter. I’m not losing any sleep over it. I already renewed on-line.

Bill Malec, O’Fallon