Governor Bruce Rauner signed Senate Bill 2173 at the 98th Annual American Legion Department of Illinois Convention in Springfield, yesterday. The bill allows National Guard members and reservists to obtain the veteran identifier on their driver’s licenses.
In 2015, the Secretary of State implemented a new law that allows individuals to have a veteran identifier on their driver’s licenses as a form of recognition for their service to the country. To receive the identifier, veterans were required to present a copy of their certificate of release or discharge from active duty, certified and stamped by the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs to the Secretary of State, leaving some unable to have their status verified. The bill allows the IDVA to approve additional forms of proof of a veteran’s status so that they can receive the identifier.
Governor Rauner said, “Some National Guard members and reservists were concerned when they learned that they did not meet the requirements to receive the veteran identifier on their driver’s license. This bill rights that wrong and ensures that they have the same benefit as active duty veterans, as they, too, have served and worked to protect our freedoms.”
The veteran identifier is no additional cost for first-time driver’s license applicants and license renewals. If a veteran chooses to add the designation before their renewal date, an updated license can be obtained for $5 and an updated ID card for $10. Veterans over 65 years of age can obtain an updated ID card for no cost.
Senate Bill 2173 is effective immediately.