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If you’re a veteran, your driver license can prove it

Q. What is the veteran’s designation on the California driver license? What is the purpose, and how do I apply?

– Tom Marshall, San Clemente

A. If vets jump through hoops, Tom, they get “VETERAN” toward the bottom of their licenses or DMV-issued IDs outlined with red and blue lines.

Because you have to prove to the Department of Motor Vehicles that you served your country in the military, that designation holds weight.

Businesses and other outfits – think restaurants, stores and fairs (when they return after the pandemic) – might offer a well-deserved discount to vets, and they need some proof.

Now, to those hoops, which might remind you a bit of the strains of basic training.

Round up your DD 214, your military discharge certificate. Take it to a County Veteran Service Office; to get a phone number of the local office to make an appointment go to, which also provides deeper details than Honk can delve into here.

(The coronavirus may affect when you can get an appointment.)

You will get a Veteran Status Verification Form. Then go to and fill out, online, a driver license and ID card application; the process is a bit cumbersome.

Finally, take that veterans form to a DMV office when you can get in.

There is a $5 fee – waived for folks with lower incomes – on top of the price of getting a new driver license.

So if you have a renewal coming up on your license, you might just wait until paying the $37 for that and then the five bucks.

The designation has been available for almost five years.

Q. Honk: I care for my 94-year-old mom who has a disabled-parking placard issued to her. I drive her around now. Last week, her placard was lost or stolen, and I don’t know if I apply for a replacement placard, issued when she drove her car, or apply for a new placard in my name as her caregiver.

– Kathy Walker, San Clemente

A. The key is who should get the special parking privileges because of a disability – in this case, it is your mom, Kathy.

So get a replacement for her.

The recipient does not have to drive – a child can get one. So can a business that drives disabled people about, say a nursing home.

Each time a vehicle slides into a disabled-person parking spot with the special placard or license plate, the person it is to benefit must get that benefit – cutting down on their trip to the vehicle.

You will need to fill out the replacement form, REG 156, which can be found at You can take it to a DMV office when you can get in – or just mail it in, which Honk heavily recommends with the coronavirus lurking.

Honkin’ fact: A passenger on a American Airlines flight, from New York to Dallas, refused to wear a mask on Wednesday, June 17. For refusing to follow the policy at least some airlines deploy, he had to get off of the jet and took a later flight, apparently after agreeing to wear a mask. (Source: CNN.)

To ask Honk questions, reach him at He only answers those that are published. To see Honk online: Twitter: @OCRegisterHonk

Source: Orange County Register

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