Whelan Bill To Create Veterans’ ID Card Approved

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.

“When it comes to giving something back to the brave men and women who’ve given so much in service to our country, many New Jersey businesses – and even some local governments – have stepped up to the plate, creating discount programs and courtesies reserved specifically for veterans,” said Senator Whelan, D-Atlantic. “By allowing counties to issue a ‘proof of service’ ID card to our State’s veterans, we can make it easier for them to access the discount programs intended just for them. This is a matter of convenience to New Jersey’s veterans who’ve fought to defend our nation and its interests abroad.”

The bill, S-323, 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.

“Through the county-issued ‘proof of service’ ID cards, we can take a lot of the guesswork out of who’s entitled to veterans discounts and courtesies, and who’s not,” said Senator Whelan. “These programs really represent just a small token of appreciation to the men and women who’ve served in our nation’s military. By reserving these programs specifically for veterans, we help honor our vets’ service, and make sure that the benefit is there when they go to claim it.”

The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

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