Identification Card Would Make it Easier for Veterans’ to Take Advantage of Discounts or Other Courtesies Extended to Military Personnel
TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Jim Whelan which would permit counties to create identification cards for veterans living within the county, in order to allow them to more easily access special discounts and other offers extended to individuals who have served in the military, was unanimously approved by the Senate Military and Veterans Affairs Committee today.
“In recognition of the sacrifices made by the men and women who serve in the Armed Forces, many businesses – and even some local governments – provide discounts and other courtesies specifically for veterans,” said Senator Whelan, D-Atlantic. “Through this legislation, we’re creating a ‘proof of service’ ID card which, while it won’t be used to claim official benefits, should be enough for veterans to take advantage of the other benefits to which they’re entitled. This legislation is about making life a little easier for our vets, and allowing them to more easily access courtesies offered to them.”
The bill, S-2991, would permit county clerks to create an identification card for veterans who live within the county and do not already hold a veteran ID card issued by the federal government. The cards would not serve as sufficient proof of service for official government business or to secure veterans’ benefits – such as the State-administered veteran property tax deduction, or GI Bill education benefits. According to Senator Whelan, the intention of the cards is to help veterans receive discounts and other courtesies extended to military veterans.
Senator Whelan noted that some shore towns offer free or reduced cost beach badges to military veterans and their families in the summertime. Many local businesses also provide discounts to veterans for a variety of services and goods, including deals on electronics, travel and restaurants, according to the Atlantic City lawmaker.
“This is a matter of convenience to New Jersey veterans and will allow them to more easily access the programs that are meant as a ‘thank you’ for their service and sacrifice,” said Senator Whelan. “By creating a government-issued ‘proof of service’ ID card, we’re taking some of the guesswork out of veterans’ discounts and other privileges reserved for our men and women in uniform, and making sure these discounts are reserved only for legitimate veterans.”
The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration.