Booher bill allowing veterans designation on state ID cards sent to governor

The state Senate passed legislation Wednesday sponsored by Sen. Darwin Booher to allow honorably discharged veterans to add a special veteran designation to their state-issued ID.

“This measure will make it easier for our veterans to access the benefits businesses want to provide to thank them for their service,” said Booher, R-Evart. “Many organizations offer discounts to veterans and their families, but it is cumbersome for veterans to have to show their discharge forms in these situations. A special insignia on their state ID card is much more practical.”

Senate Bill 219 would require the Michigan secretary of state to develop a veteran designation on state-issued identification cards for veterans who provide proof of service like a certificate of release or discharge from active duty, referred to as a DD 214 form.

The Senate also passed House Bill 4037, similar to an earlier Booher bill, which would provide the same designation on driver’s licenses.

“Michigan veterans told us about the need to find a simpler way for them to prove their military service,” Booher said. “We investigated the issue and discovered a more simplified veteran designation was working in Florida, so we decided to try a similar approach here.”

Booher noted that, under both measures, the secretary of state’s office would require proof of service status as a veteran before providing the designation. The secretary of state would consult with the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs to determine what documentation would be required as proof of service.

“These reforms will help veterans and Michigan businesses alike,” Booher said. “A state agency is the entity that verifies veteran status; businesses simply need to see the veterans designation on a state ID or driver’s license.”

SB 219 and HB 4037 are now headed to the governor to be signed into law.