Having a veteran identification card can provide various benefits and discounts for a veteran. This column will address some common cards and identification means that may be available to a veteran. There are various cards that may be obtained through different government agencies; these are the ones that are addressed in this column. Having multiple veteran ID cards is very beneficial, as different veteran ID cards have different functions and not all are recognized or accepted at all places. All veteran ID cards have an expiration date; if you already have one, check the date.
Veteran Service Organizations membership cards may or may not be accepted as a valid veteran ID (as veterans, we know they should.) ID cards from VSOs are not addressed in this column. There are several VSOs in Delaware County. These will be addressed in a future column.
Ohio veteran identification card
An Ohio veteran identification card may be obtained through the Delaware County Recorder’s Office. These cards comply with Ohio Revised Code 317.241. To obtain this card, a certified copy of your DD-214 must be filed with the Recorder’s Office. If your DD-214 is already filed with the Recorder’s Office, one step is complete. Call the Recorder’s Office to see if an appointment is needed to get an ID card. Delaware County Recorder’s Office may be reached at 740-833-2460. The office is located in the Rutherford B. Hayes Administrative Building at 145 N. Union St., Delaware.
If you do not have a copy of your DD-214, or a certified copy of your DD-214, there are a couple ways to obtain one. If you have a copy of your DD-214 that is not certified, you can request the Delaware County Veterans Services to certify it for you. You can also request a copy of your DD-214 on VA.gov or ask the Delaware County Veterans Services for assistance in requesting a copy. There is no cost to for you to obtain a copy of your DD-214. There may be a delay in obtaining one from the VA. It is my understanding that they are currently not sending them out due to COVID-19. Hopefully, that will change soon, if it hasn’t already. If you request, and they are not sending them out, at least you will be in the queue.
The Ohio veteran ID card is a state issued photo ID card. Cost for the card at the Delaware County Recorder’s Office is $1. Other state issued photo ID cards are generally $10 at the BMV. The veteran ID card can be used for veteran discounts and other items. Being a state issued ID, it may also be used for other purposes. If two forms of ID are requested, it can be used; it is also a valid ID for voting in Ohio. The veteran ID card may also be used in place of presenting your DD-214 in many instances, as it references your DD-214 that is filed with the Delaware County Recorder’s Office. Ohio elected officials, state and county offices recognize and accept the Ohio veteran ID card as valid credentials.
VA Veteran Health Identification Card
When you’re enrolled in VA health care, you get a Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC) that you use to check in to your appointments at VA medical centers. You may also use this card to get discounts offered to veterans at many stores, businesses and restaurants.
You need to be enrolled in VA health care to receive a Veteran Health Identification Card. If you aren’t signed up for VA health care, you can apply online now at VA.gov. If you need assistance, you may make an appointment with the Delaware County Veterans Services. An accredited Veterans Service Officer (VSO) will help you fill out your claim. Delaware County Veterans Service Office can be reached at 740-833-2010. The office is currently located at 149 N. Sandusky St., Delaware. Once the Historical Courthouse renovation is complete, the VSO will be moving there.
VA Veteran Identification Card
A Veteran ID Card (VIC) is a form of photo ID you can use to get discounts offered to veterans at many stores, businesses and restaurants. When you have this card, you won’t need to carry around your military discharge papers or share sensitive personal information to receive discounts.
You may be eligible if you meet the following requirements. Both of these must be true. You: 1) Served on active duty, in the Reserves, or in the National Guard (including the Coast Guard), and 2) Received an honorable or general discharge (under honorable conditions).
If you received an other than honorable, bad conduct, or dishonorable character of discharge, you’re not eligible for a Veteran ID Card. If you have an uncharacterized or unknown discharge status, we’ll have to verify your eligibility before we approve your application. You can apply online now at VA.gov.
Veteran’s designation on a state-issued driver’s license or ID
At this time, all 50 states and Puerto Rico offer a veteran designation (an identifying mark) printed on state-issued driver’s licenses or IDs. The type of veteran designation may vary from state to state. If you have a veteran’s designation, you may be able to get discounts offered to veterans at many stores, businesses and restaurants.
Most states ask you to provide a copy of your discharge papers (DD-214 or other separation documents). Some states may require additional documents. Ohio’s BMV requires a copy of your DD-214. The designation on Ohio’s driver’s license is small and difficult to see or read. Unfortunately, most non-government entities do not recognize or even know the license designation exists.
Harold B. Wolford is president of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1095. He served in the United States Army from 1970 to 1973. Wolford can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.