MILFORD - Senator Lisa Baker (R-20th) spoke at the March 5th Pike County Commissioners' meeting about how driver's licenses and driver's registration plates can now honor military veterans.
  Baker chairs the Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee.
   She commented that all levels of government share responsibility in bolstering the veterans' cause and noted that Pike County has done much to influence the state agenda. She noted the contribution of Pierce Bunce, County Veterans Affairs Director, and also the Vetstock festival held each summer.

••• Driver's license for vets

    Governor Corbett included $2.3 million for veteran service outreach in his proposed budget. Baker said that approximately $140 comes back to veteran causes for every $1 invested.
   A new Pennsylvania driver's license was unveiled March 4th when Governor Corbett signed Act 176 2012 into law allowing for the issuance of a Pennsylvania driver’s license or identification card that clearly indicates that the bearer is a veteran of the United States Armed Forces. This is being accomplished by adding a Veterans Designation directly to the license or card.
    The veteran's driver's license is indicated by a small US flag in the lower right corner with the word "Veteran" beneath it.
    As stated on the Department of Motor Vehicles’ web site, qualified applicants for a Veterans Designation on their driver’s license or identification card include those who have received a Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty/DD214 or equivalent for service in the United   States Armed Forces, including a reserve component or the National Guard, who were discharged or released from such service under conditions other than dishonorable.
   Once the Veterans Designation has been added to your license or ID, it will automatically appear each time your license or ID is renewed.
    There is no fee for the Veterans Designation; however qualified applicants must pay any initial issuance; renewal or duplicate driver’s license or ID fees.
   Senator Baker said she hoped that more businesses, upon seeing the driver's license, will provide discounts to veterans. In the event of an accident or other emergency, the license designation also will let the medical provider know they are dealing with a veteran.

 ••• Honoring Veterans license plate

     She also spoke of the Pennsylvania Veterans' Trust Fund (VTF), which was signed into law a year ago.
    The mission of the VTF, administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA), is to assist and support Pennsylvania veterans and their families. The VTF will issue grants to statewide charitable organizations that assist veterans, veterans service organizations and county directors of veterans affairs to assist veterans in need of shelter and necessities of living.
   A new source of funding for VTF comes from the sale of the new "Honoring Our Veterans" Pennsylvania license plate. The cost of the plate is $35. PennDOT will transfer $15 from the fee to the Trust Fund. In addition, when applying for a driver's license or vehicle registration, one may check a box and contribute $3.00 to the fund, on top of the fee. This donation is tax-deductible.
   "Average citizens can help and each dollar can do so much," Baker said. She added that she was honored that it was her bill that was signed into law that made this possible (Senate Bill 1531). Baker acknowledged the support of State Rep. Mike Peifer and Rep. Rosemary Brown.

• Veterans' driver's licenses
• To apply for a veterans' driver's license:
• Military license plates
• PA Senator Lisa Baker