Veterans Now Able to Obtain Special Driver's License

Announced last week by the Secretary of State, the new cards will be voluntary for all veterans who have received an honorable discharge. This includes all DD-214-carrying certified completers of U.S. military service. Qualified veterans can work with the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs to obtain a certified copy of their DD-214. Then, the veteran is invited to present the certified discharge paper at any office of the Secretary of State’s Office of Driver Services when he or she is applying for a new or renewed Illinois driver’s license or State ID card. The newly-printed card will display the driver or resident’s status as a service veteran. The revised card format became effective on Wednesday, July 1.

The new drivers’ license cards are being offered, free of additional charge, to Illinois veterans as the result of a bill shepherded through the House by Rep. Mike Fortner. SB 2837 directed the Secretary of State to modify its driver’s license/ID card format to include the veterans’ honor designation. The bill became law as Public Act 97-739.