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Jacobs Urges Silver to Get Veterans Bill to Governor for Signature

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Bill waiving fees for DMV veteran’s designation does not become law unless signed by end of year

Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs issued a letter to NYS Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver urging him to have Assembly Bill A08231A/Senate Bill S5995A delivered to the Governor for signing. The legislation, which unanimously passed both the Assembly and Senate earlier this year, prohibits the imposition of any additional fee for the issuance of a driver license or non-driver identification card with a veteran’s distinguishing mark.

In 2013, a law was enacted that allows honorably discharged service men and women the option of having their Veteran status added to their driver licenses and non-drivers identification cards. Unfortunately the State Department of Motor Vehicles interpreted this law as requiring a Veteran to pay an amendment fee to add the “Veteran” status when requested prior to the renewal date of the document.

“Essentially, this legislation eliminates the $12.50 amendment fee and allows this distinction to be added free of charge, regardless of the timing. I strongly believe this designation on New York licenses and ID’s should be a benefit conferred to the New York State veteran community free of charge and not a revenue generator for government,” said Jacobs. “Since this bill received unanimous support in both houses, I find it disconcerting that this bill has not been delivered to the Governor.”

According to New York State law the Assembly has until the end of the year to send the bill to the Governor for consideration. If the Assembly fails to send the bill prior to January 1st it will result in a veto.

“As we celebrate Veterans Day and honor the men and women of the armed forces who have sacrificed so much for our state and nation, it seems only appropriate that this bill be sent to the Governor so that it can be signed into law,” stated Clerk Jacobs. “I respectfully urge Assembly Leader Silver to take whatever steps necessary to see that this legislation is delivered to the Governor without delay.”

Click here to read Jacobs’s letter to Silver.