Former members of the U.S. armed forces living in Connecticut may apply to have their veteran status displayed on their driver's licenses or state-issued IDs, according to state Sen. Carlo Leone,

D-Darien, Stamford.

The symbol of the American flag will be used to denote prior service in the armed forces and will provide veterans with a much more convenient way to prove their eligibility for veterans' discounts and other services.

As Senate chairman of the General Assembly's Veterans Affairs Committee, Leone led passage of enabling legislation last year. "Until now, proving one's status as a veteran required display of official military discharge papers," Leone said. "This is not only inconvenient, but also risky and unwise, as discharge papers are official documents that should be kept in a safe location, much like a birth certificate. These new licenses and state-issued IDs solve that problem."

Veterans living in Connecticut may apply for new driver's licenses or state-issued IDs immediately, which will begin to be issued on Jan. 2.

At least 30 days prior to visiting a Department of Motor Vehicles or AAA office, veterans must submit to the state Department of Veterans Affairs a completed application and proof of honorable discharge, such as a DD-214. The DVA will verify the veteran's military status and electronically notify the DMV of the request prior to the driver's license or ID card being issued.

The flag symbol application may be downloaded at and clicking on "Application for Veteran's Flag." The flag symbol will be added to a veteran's license or ID card at no additional cost at renewal time or when it is first issued.

Veterans can request a flag symbol by mailing an application and additional documentation to Department of Veterans Affairs, Attn: Veteran's Flag on Driver License or ID card, 287 West St., Rocky Hill CT 06067.

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