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President Obama signs bill to give veterans ID cards to prove service time


All honorably discharged veterans will be able to get an ID card from the Department of Veterans Affairs to help them prove their status as former soldiers, under a bill authored  by a Florida Republican and signed into law by President Barack Obama on Monday.

Currently the VA only offers ID cards to those who served at least 20 years in the military or those who receive medical care for a service-connected disability. That leaves out thousands of soldiers who have to rely on official service paperwork, typically a DD-214 to prove they are a veteran for various discounts and programs.

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, a Republican from Sarasota County, said he wanted to find a way to help veterans more easily prove they served without making them cart around papers that contain all kinds of personal information on them and can easily be misplaced.

Under Buchanan’s proposal the VA can begin creating ID cards as soon as two months from now. How much the cards will cost is still be to be determined by the VA.

In some states, like Florida, veterans can already apply to have a "V" added to their drivers license for $1 when they are renewing their license to help prove their status.