November 25, 2014
Oswego, NY - Oswego County Clerk Michael C. Backus and Veterans Services Director Donna Kestnertoday thanked Governor Andrew Cuomo for signing into law legislation that eliminates the fee for veterans seeking a distinction on their drivers' licenses or non-driver ID cards. The legislation passed both the NYS Assembly and Senate unanimously earlier this year.The statewide associations of County Clerks and County Veterans Services Officers both advocated to change the law.
In 2013, a law was enacted to allow honorably discharged service men and women the option of having their veteran status on drivers' licenses and non-driver identification cards. Unfortunately at that time the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles interpreted this law as requiring a payment of $12.50 to amend a veteran's license.
"I'm glad the Governor recognized the need to sign this piece of legislation to say thank you to our veterans," said Backus. "Assemblymen Barclay, Oaks and Senator Ritchie were all quick to support this initiative and through the County Clerk's Association we brought this issue to the forefront and ensured its unanimous passage."
"My staff and I will be happy to pass this information on to our veterans," said Oswego County Veterans Services Director Donna Kestner. "Our County Veterans Service Officers Association of NY has been contacting our government officials to encourage them to drop this fee. Our Oswego County officials are very supportive of our veterans and we wish to thank them for their efforts regarding this legislation."
Backus also credited Association of County Clerks President Cheryl Dinolfofor leading the charge to make the change in Albany. "Through our legislative committee, clerks across the state united to stand up for our veterans," said Backus, who serves as co-chair of the Association of County Clerks Legislative Committee. "I am proud of our association for making our voice heard in Albany."
The legislation is effective 30 days after it was signed on Nov. 7, 2014. The first work day that veterans may add the designation is Monday, Dec. 8, 2014.
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