Veterans can be recognized on Oklahoma driver's licenses

A new program allows military veterans to get an icon on their Oklahoma driver's licenses denoting their service. Officials hope the move will encourage businesses to offer discounts to veterans now that there is a way to identify them.
BY BRYAN DEAN bdean@opubco.com Modified: November 1, 2012 at 8:51 pm •  Published: November 1, 2012
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Military veterans can now get a driver's license identifying their status, which will allow businesses to honor their service without worrying about fraud, state officials said Thursday.

Retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Rita Aragon, secretary for Veterans Affairs, said her department has encouraged veterans to ask local merchants across the state to offer free or discounted services to those who have served, which is hard to do without a way to positively identify someone as a veteran.

“Most of the veterans in the state don't have a way of being recognized,” Aragon said. “With Veterans Day coming up, it's kind of fresh in our minds that we owe a lot to them.”

Aragon said she looked at issuing veterans ID cards through her office, but the project would have been too expensive and would have required veterans to drive to one or two locations across the state to get an ID. Driver's licenses were a logical alternative because they are distributed all across the state at tag agencies.

Transition under way

Mike Thompson, commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, said he loved the idea of adding a veteran icon to state driver's licenses. Thompson is a colonel in the Oklahoma National Guard and has two sons in the military.