It’s designed to help veterans get discounts at places without having to show official military documents but as KWWL’s Shelley Russell reports, they’re getting problems instead.
Rex Eyestone is a Vietnam vet, “there’s sights and sounds that you’ll never forget.”
He was excited to hear about a new law that would allow his driver’s license to have a veteran designation on it, until he found out he couldn’t.
That’s because the law only allows it to be added to a license that’s first issued or needs to be renewed.
“They dangle something in front of you and get your hopes up and then right at the last second they pull the rug out from underneath you.”
Eyestone says he doesn’t want the designation added to his license for the discounts. He wants it because he’s proud to have served.
“I just – I’m not into discounts. I don’t care if I get a discount or not, a lot of people are and I don’t spite them one bit for that. I just think it’s just a point of recognition for the veterans.”
The Iowa DOT admits it’s received some flak from the new law.
“Obviously since we have a five year renewal period, if a person’s renewed in the last couple years they have a fairly long waiting period until they can add that on at their next renewal,” says Mark Lowe speaking to KWWL by phone, “and as I said I’m sympathetic to that.”
The DOT says the state loses anywhere between $7 to $9 each time a duplicate license is issued and that’s why the law doesn’t allow a duplicate license to have the veteran status added. The DOT says the state would simply lose too much money.
“It did seem evident to me that some veterans were not going to be happy with the idea that they might have to wait three or four years before they could get that added to their license and again I’m sympathetic to that concern.” Added Mark Lowe.
The DOT says it’s talking with legislators about changing the fees for duplicate licenses.
It says if the state isn’t losing as much money on issuing duplicates, than making the veteran designation available on all licenses wouldn’t be such a financial burden.
The DOT says people should contact their local legislators about any concerns with the veteran’s designation.
On a positive note, fees for getting a duplicate license haven’t changed since the 1980’s.