ITD helps honor military veterans through
designation on Idaho driver's licenses and ID cards

Leading into one of the most important holidays of the year, when Idahoans stop to remember military service and sacrifice, the state of Idaho is taking another step toward honoring its nearly 140,000 military veterans.

Beginning Monday, Nov. 10, a special designation on state-issued driver’s licenses and identification (ID) cards will allow better recognition of veterans throughout the state.

Veterans can go to their local driver’s license office and show their proof of a veteran’s status and honorable discharge to obtain this designation directly on their driver’s license or ID card. The word “VETERAN” will be added in bold block letters to the top center of the card.

“The veteran designation is intended to be a reliable proof of veteran’s status, without the inconvenience and risk of carrying around original and fragile documents to provide this proof,” said ITD Driver Services Manager Ed Pemble.

The bill for the veteran status designation was spearheaded by Rep. George Eskridge of Dover, with co-sponsors Sen. Marv Hagedorn, Meridian; Rep. Linden Bateman, Idaho Falls; and Rep. Brandon Hixon, Caldwell. It was introduced during the 2013 legislative session and signed into law by Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter.

“When we in the state of Idaho can show our support and deference to this courageous group, I consider it not only a privilege to do so, but also an honor,” said Eskridge. “I want to especially recognize Jim Livingston, a marine veteran in Sandpoint, who got this started when he asked me to sponsor legislation acknowledging veteran status on the driver’s license, which many states already do.”

Pemble said there is no extra fee for the designation if done as part of a license renewal. For veterans who do not want to wait for renewal, the designation can be added when a duplicate license is issued, which costs $15.

“Once added, the designation will appear on each subsequent renewal unless the veteran chooses to have the designation removed,” added Pemble.

The veteran designation is just one of many benefits that Idaho provides to formally recognize veterans for their service.  

The Idaho Transportation Department has played a significant role in honoring veterans. ITD has several military license plates available to veterans who served in different branches of the military. In August, Interstate 84 from Idaho’s Oregon border to its Utah border, was officially named the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway. Idaho 3 was designated as the North Idaho Medal of Honor Highway in 2011.

ITD also participates in the nationally recognized Wounded Warrior Cooperative Training Program, a joint effort of ITD and the Idaho Department of Labor, which assists disabled veterans wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan by funding training programs in transportation-based occupations.

This new veteran designation was made possible by the foresight and vision of the bill sponsors, and collaboration with Tamara Mackenthun and David Brasuell from the Idaho Division of Veteran’s Services (IDVS). ITD and IDVS originally submitted the legislation.

Published 11-07-14