DARKE COUNTY — Military veterans living in Darke County could be adding one more card to their wallets — but unlike a credit card, this one won’t cost them anything. In fact, it may save veterans some money.
The Darke County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday approved a resolution enacting a state program in the county for its veterans office to issue special identification cards to Darke County veterans. The card is intended to aid businesses in identifying those who qualify for military veteran discounts.
The cards, similar to a driver’s license, will feature an honorably discharged veteran’s photo, branch of service and date of discharge, among other information.
To get the card, a veteran living in the county must first go to the Darke County Recorder’s Office to have their discharge paperwork recorded. With that accomplished, the veteran will go to the Darke County Veterans Service Office to have their card made. As well, he or she must present at least two forms of valid identification, with at least one bearing the veteran’s photo.
The cards will be issued at no cost to veterans in Darke County, although Ohio Revised Code does allow the county to charge up to $2 per card if it so desires. The card expires 10 years from its issue date, and then a new one will be issued. A veteran can also be issued a new card in the event his or her ID is lost or stolen.
The card cannot be used for official government purposes, such as obtaining services from the Veterans Administration, however.
“It is not in any way associated with the Department of Veterans Affairs, it is a state ID card,” said Tom Pitman, department head at the Darke County Veterans Service Office.
“The card doesn’t open them up for any benefits, and doesn’t guarantee they’re going to get a discount anywhere, but counties in the state are using these cards as discount cards at certain businesses,” he explained.
There is an additional benefit for veterans, according to Pitman.
“Once they come in to get their ID card, maybe we can talk to them about other benefits they may be eligible for,” he said. “So it puts us in outreach, in touch, with more veterans.”
Based on the 2010 census, Pitman estimates there could be approximately 3,800 veterans living in Darke County eligible to receive the card. It is expected the cards may be issued as soon as the beginning of 2017.
For further information, call the Darke County Veterans Service Office at 937-548-5305.