How can I get a Veteran Designation on my Driver License?

One of the most common questions we are asked is how to get a Veteran designation on your California driver license or identification card. 

The California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) and the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) announced a program to honor our Veterans by allowing them to apply for a “Veteran” designation on California driver licenses and identification cards.imagegen_t614

“California’s new driver license and identification card program honors and recognizes the military service of our Veterans,” said Dr. Vito Imbasciani, CalVet’s Secretary. “I encourage our Veterans to contact a local CVSO and start the process and learn about their earned benefits, just as I have.  As an added bonus, the new “Veteran” designation means businesses can easily confirm Veteran status when offering discounts.”

Obtaining your “Veteran” designation for a driver license or ID card is as easy as 1, 2, 3!

1.    Get Records. Find your military discharge certificate (DD214). If you don’t have it, visit the National Archives Website for Veterans Service Records and fill out a Standard Form (SF) 180, Request Pertaining to Military Records For assistance obtaining your military records, contact any County Veteran Service Officer (CVSO) by calling 844-737-8838.

2.    Visit Any CVSO. A lot of Veterans have been frustrated after skipping this step and going straight to the DMV office only to find that they can’t get the designation without the Veteran Status Verification Form. Take your DD214 and government identification to any CVSO to obtain your Veteran Status Verification Form. For faster CVSO service, you can make an appointment with any CVSOs by calling 844-737-8838 or finding your local CVSO at www.calvet.ca.gov.

3.    Visit Any DMV.  Go on-line or call any DMV for an appointment.  Then bring your Veteran Status Verification Form to DMV. Complete your application, pay any application fees in addition to a $5.00 Veteran designation fee, and complete any testing requirements. To schedule an appointment at any DMV, visit www.dmv.ca.gov or call 800-777-0133.

Now for the best part: You will receive your new card with the Veteran designation from DMV in the mail in approximately four weeks. Congratulations!

Here’s a handy video with the same information, and you can read frequently asked questions on our website.

20 comments

  1. Richard Freitas · · Reply

    Does the $5.00 fee to the DMV apply if you’re renewing your driver’s license at the same time?

    Like

    1. June Iljana · · Reply

      Yes it does. Unfortunately, the DMV is unable to waive that fee.

      Like

      1. Brendan Drury · ·

        Sorry some ingrates are giving you heat over a potential new benefit. Good work.

        Like

  2. G Rivas · · Reply

    While other states offer discounted rates for Veteran and Active Duty renewal of Driver’s Licenses (Includes the Veteran designation), our state makes us pay $5 extra. And you wonder why so many Vets end up retiring in Texas.

    Like

  3. Tony Ramirez · · Reply

    Too bad the DMV, a State Agency, is unwilling to waive $5 to support our Veterans by adding the word veteran to a piece of paper. I don’t know how much effort the DMV spends by validating a DD214 but I do know that earning one far outweighs what it takes to earn one. Loser!

    Like

    1. June Iljana · · Reply

      Unfortunately, the DMV is unable to waive the fee because it is required by law. The only way to eliminate the fee is to change the law through your legislative representatives.

      Like

    2. I do not remember being trained to verbally abuse someone because I do not agree with them. Others have suggested they should move to Texas in order to save $5.00.

      Like

  4. JP Rodgers · · Reply

    Why charge a Veteran $5? It should be free to Veterans!

    Like

  5. SFC Joaquin R. Tedtaotao (Retired U.S. ARMY) · · Reply

    potus should eliminate this $5.00 fee…..our Life we gave is’nt worth the 5 Bills…smh.

    Like

    1. June Iljana · · Reply

      The fee is required by state law, not federal law, therefore the president has no ability to change it. Only our state legislature or a ballot measure can change state law.

      Like

  6. The CVSO step is ridiculous. The offices are not easily accessible for many, getting an appointment can take months, and many of us don’t have time to sit around waiting in the hopes we can be seen. For any other benefit, a DD214 suffices, as well as the printable verification available via the eBenefits website.

    Like

    1. June Iljana · · Reply

      The good news is that, after going in to the county veteran services office for this, many veterans have discovered that they are eligible for benefits they weren’t aware of. Look for an article with more information about that soon.

      Like

  7. Rosa Mosteiro · · Reply

    If I have a military retiree I.D. card, do I still need to present a DD214?

    Like

    1. Thanks for the question, Rosa. Yes, you will still need your DD-214 to show you have an eligible discharge to go along with the ID.

      Like

  8. Devin Long · · Reply

    Being a Veteran does not make you entitled to discounts and free stuff. Consider this as a gift that people go out of there way to do things like that for us Vets. You signed the contract and served dont expect people to grovel and pay tribute for that. Its a privledge and honor to serve not a right.

    Like

  9. Michael Grandmain · · Reply

    I tried to do this in Redding, Ca in July 2017. They informed me that it would cost over $30.00. I asked for what. Was told for all paper work involved. I felt that it was ridiculous to charge that amount.

    Like

    1. Hi Michael. If your California Drivers License has not expired yet, the $30.00 fee is from the DMV for a new license. That fee does not cover the veteran designation, only a new card. Some suggest waiting until your license is about to expire to schedule your appointment, that way you won’t be paying twice. Plus, the $5.00 veteran designation fee is a one-time fee. Let us know if you have any other questions.

      Like

  10. Mitch Rapp · · Reply

    The VA in Long Beach does NOT, I repeat, does NOT issue forms for veteran status on DMV CDLs for veterans with light skin.
    Discrimination galore.
    Enuff said

    Like

    1. Hi Mitch. The VA in Long Beach is not the correct destination to get the necessary paperwork in order to get this veteran designation on your drivers license. You must attend a local CVSO (County Veteran Service Office) and show them your DD214 to obtain the necessary paperwork before going to the DMV. Again, only a CVSO will be able to provide this paperwork, and alert you to benefits you may not already know about. Thanks for the question, and thank you for your service.

      Like

  11. Reblogged this on Homeless in LA © and commented:
    This is how service members can identify themselves as such on their driver’s license and photo I.D.s. this can be especially helpful of you are seeking assistance designed for veterans because it takes official documentation to get this mark on your photo ID.

    Like

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