Senate panel approves Booher bill to allow veterans designation on state ID cards

LANSING—Legislation sponsored by Sen. Darwin Booher to allow honorably discharged veterans to add a special veteran designation to their state-issued ID was approved by the Senate Veterans, Military Affairs and Homeland Security Committee on Tuesday.

“To show their support of our veterans and say thank you for protecting liberty, many places and businesses offer discounts to veterans and their families,” said Booher, R-Evart. “We owe it to our veterans to help make it easier for them to receive the benefits they earned in protecting America. This reform will allow veterans to show their status with a special insignia on their state ID card instead of having to carry around their discharge forms.”

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

“These initiatives are the result of hearing from Michigan veterans about the need to find a simpler way for them to prove their military service,” Booher said. “We looked to see what solutions were working in other states. We saw that this type of veteran designation was successful in Florida and decided to bring this efficient service to Michigan.”

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 will consult with the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs to determine what documentation would be required as proof of service. 

“These reforms are also about helping Michigan businesses who generously offer discounts to our veterans,” Booher said. “If they see a veterans designation on a state ID or driver’s license they will know that the person is a veteran – because an official state agency has already done the verification for them.”

SB 219 and HB 4037 now head to the full Senate for consideration.