MISSOULA — As of Jan. 1, Montana veterans can add a “veteran” designation on the front of their driver’s license or state-issued ID card, making it easier to take advantages of services and discounts.
“The new designation will eliminate the need for veterans to carry official military paperwork,” Attorney General Tim Fox said. “It will also allow businesses such as restaurants and hotels to quickly and easily verify the status of veterans seeking discounts.“
Adding this option is a two-step process, and is free when veterans renew their driver’s licenses. First, veterans must confirm their status at any Montana Veterans Affairs Division service office. Then, they can apply for licenses or ID cards through the Motor Vehicle Division by mail or in person.
If veterans want to add this feature before a renewal, it is $10 for a driver’s license and $16 for an ID card.
The new designation was made possible by a bill sponsored by state Sen. Ed Buttrey, R-Great Falls. Motor Vehicle Division Administrator Brenda Nordlund said the legislation is a trend across the United States.
“Montana is one of several states that adopted legislation in 2013,” Nordlund said. “Our neighboring states also have or are adopting the designation on their licenses.”
In Idaho, a similar law and will take effect in November. North and South Dakota already have the option, and legslation is pending in Washington state.
More information and a form are available at (406) 324-3740 or at https://doj.mt.gov/driving/forms/#driverlicensing.
Kendra Cousineau is a journalism major at the University of Montana and an intern in the Missoulian newsroom.