Veterans driver's licenses have new patriotic design

ATLANTA -- A new, patriotic design on the driver's licenses of Georgia's veterans was unveiled on Monday.

The new card design, which has a waving American flag adjacent to the cardholder's name and "veteran" in bold red ink, is in a larger typeface than previous versions.

The Department of Driver Services announced the design in front of the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial statue at the Pete Wheeler Georgia War Veteran Memorial Plaza in Atlanta. Commissioner Rob Mikell said Georgia has the fourth largest number of combat veterans who return from Iraq and Afghanistan.

"This is a well-deserved acknowledgement," Mikell said. "Georgia's veterans deserve all the acknowledgement we can bestow."

At the ceremony, Mikell presented several veterans with new licenses, including Commissioner Pete Wheeler, Department of Veterans Service, Holly Springs Police Officer Shane Ladner and several DDS team members.

Last year, about 36,000 to 38,000 eligible Georgia veterans requested or renewed a free driver's license or identification card, according to a DDS news release. The design is a convenient identification for special veterans discounts at retail stores.

DDS officials said there was no additional cost to implement the change.

The eligibility requirements to receive a free veterans driver's license or ID have not changed. A veteran is entitled to a free license and/or ID if he/she meets the Georgia residency requirement, and if the veteran has a discharge under honorable conditions from the Armed Forces, National Guard or Reserves of the United States for service during a recognized period of war or conflict.

A surviving spouse of an eligible deceased veteran is also eligible for a free honorary driver's license as long as he/she does not remarry.