South Dakota's Departments of Public Safety and Veterans Affairs remind military veterans that a new law taking effect July 1 allows them to have a veteran designation on their state-issued driver license.
The 2012 Legislature passed the law, which gives honorably discharged veterans the option of adding the word "Veteran'' to the front of their South Dakota driver license.
Including that designation on the driver license will make it easier for those who have served in the military to verify their veteran status.
"South Dakota is home to over 74,000 veterans who have protected and served our great nation. The launch of this new 'veteran' identification will provide a convenient identification for veterans," said Steve Harding, deputy secretary for the South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs. "This initiative is a perfect example of state agencies working together to assist those who have served and sacrificed for our nation."
Veterans who wish to add the designation to their driver license or non-driver ID card may visit any South Dakota driver license office. They will need to present their DD-214, which shows their honorable discharge status from active duty or present a certificate signed by a county or tribal veterans service officer verifying their status. Veterans should also remember that the fee for a duplicate license is $10 and the fee for a license renewal is $20.
Cindy Gerber, director of the South Dakota Driver Licensing Program, reminds veterans that they will need to provide the other documents required of any applicant for a South Dakota driver license.
Those documents may be viewed at http://dps.sd.gov/licensing/driver_licensing/obtain_a_license.aspx.
"We are happy to work with Deputy Secretary Harding and his staff to provide this opportunity to the men and women who have served their country honorably in the military,'' Gerber said.
Gerber also said veterans who have questions about the documents or the process may call her office at (800) 952-3696 or (605) 773-6883.
Harding encourages veterans who need assistance with obtaining their DD214 or who have questions regarding their benefits to contact their respective county/tribal veterans' service officer or call the South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs at (605) 773-3269.
Here is a summary of the documents required for obtaining a driver license. If you think you may have difficulty obtaining any of the necessary documents, please call the Driver Licensing Program.
One identity document, such as a certified birth certificate or a valid unexpired U.S. passport. (Note: If your name is different than the name on your identity document, you will need to bring additional proof of your legal name, such as a certified marriage certificate, adoption document or divorce decree. A passport will work, if the name on the passport matches the name on your current driver license).
One document proving Social Security number. Acceptable documents are a Social Security card, W-2 form, SSA 1099 form or pay stub (which must include Social Security number and name).
Two documents proving residential address. Acceptable documents include utility bill, credit card statement, pay stub, rent receipt, phone bill, transcript or report card from accredited school, bank statement, mortgage or tax document, homeowner or renter insurance policy. (A parent's proof of address is acceptable for a minor child.)