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JACOBS COMMENDS NYS LEGISLATURE FOR ELIMINATING FEE FOR VETERAN’S DISTINCTION ON DRIVER'S LICENSES



Thursday, June 19, 2014

Clerk did not collect fee at Erie County DMV’s while advocating legislation

Erie County, NY – Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs today commended the New York State Senate for unanimously passing legislation (Senate Bill S5955A) eliminating the fee for a veteran’s distinction on driver’s licenses and non-driver identification cards prior to their renewal date. Last month, the State Assembly unanimously passed the companion legislation (Bill A8321A) 129-0.

In 2013, a law was enacted to allow honorably discharged service men and women the option of having their veteran status on driver’s licenses and non-driver identification cards. However, the State DMV interpreted this law to require a Veteran to pay a $12.50 amendment fee to add the veteran status when requested prior to the renewal date.

According to Jacobs, several years ago New York State extended the license renewal period from 5 years to 8 years, which forced veterans to have to wait the entire 8 year renewal period or pay the amendment fee to obtain a veteran’s distinction.

“For our honorable veterans to be forced to wait 8 years or pay an additional $12.50 fee to obtain a distinction on their license is simply wrong and why I advocated so strongly for legislation to eliminate this unnecessary burden on our veterans,” stated Jacobs.

A strong advocate for veterans, Jacobs had urged New York State DMV Commissioner Barbara J. Fiala to reevaluate charging the additional fee of $12.50 that veterans would be required to pay. Jacobs also wrote to his colleagues in the Western New York Delegation encouraging them to adopt legislation prohibiting the additional fee for a veteran’s distinguishing mark on a driver’s license or non-driver identification.

“I am pleased that both the Senate and Assembly unanimously adopted this legislation that honors our veteran community for their service;” Jacobs said. “I strongly believe this designation on New York licenses and non-driver identification cards should be a benefit conferred to the New York State veteran community free of charge and not a revenue generator for Albany. I respectfully urge the Governor to sign this legislation into law as soon as possible.”