Veteran status designation on a photo document

If you are a qualified U.S. military veteran who was honorably discharged, and you have a NY State driver license, learner permit or non-driver photo ID card, you can have the word "Veteran" printed on the upper left hand of your photo document.

There is no additional fee for the veteran status designation on your document, but all regular transaction fees will apply.

After you receive the veteran designation, it will automatically be on all of your future DMV documents (when you replace or renew).

To apply, you must provide proof of an honorable discharge

Acceptable proofs are

  • a U.S. Department of Defense Form DD-214 that indicates an honorable discharge
  • a form DD-215 that indicates an honorable discharge
  • if discharged before January 1,1950, an Honorable Discharge form WD AGO 53, WD AGO 55, WD AGO 53-55, NAVPERS 553, NAVMC 78PD or NAVCG 553, or an "Enlisted Separation Paper"
  • a Certification of Military Service (NA FORM 13038) that indicates a discharge that is either "honorable"  or "under honorable conditions"


New York now offers 3 types of documents
Document TypeDisplayed on documentUsed for identificationFly within U.S., enter Federal facilities**Enter U.S. by land or sea***
Enhanced (EDL)Flag displayed on Enhanced documentYesYesYes
Federal REAL IDStar displayed on REAL ID documentsYesYesNo

* If your license or permit was issued before October 30, 2017 and is not Enhanced, you have a Standard document. 

** Boarding a domestic (U.S.) flight, and entering a Federal Building or Military Base (starting May, 2025)

*** U.S. Border Crossing from Canada, Mexico and some Caribbean countries


Learn more about Enhanced, REAL ID and Standard documents


Apply at DMV office if you also want to change to an Enhanced or REAL ID

See location, instructions and reservation information for your DMV

If you have a Standard license and want to change to a REAL ID or Enhanced while adding your veteran status, you must come into a DMV office.

Complete this guide to make sure you have the proofs of identification you need. You will also need to submit your proof of honorable discharge (original or photocopies). 


Find the documents you need to get a REAL ID or Enhanced license



By mail



DMV License Production Bureau 
Room 331, 6 Empire State Plaza 
Albany, NY 12228


You cannot apply by phone or online. 


If you applied to have the Veteran Indicator added to your license, permit or non-driver ID and were charged a document fee, you are entitled to a refund for the fee

A law has been enacted that permits us to refund a fee paid by a veteran in order to place a veteran indicator on their DMV document.   You don't need to request a refund or visit a DMV office.  Each eligible customer will get a letter and refund check from New York State.

For your convenience, many DMV PDF forms can be filled in online and then printed.