Va. bill would enable veterans to ditch ID card

Right now, veterans can have two ID cards — the Veteran’s Identification Card, which provides proof of veteran status for discounts from retailers and restaurants, and the standard driver’s license.

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia has one of the largest veteran populations in the country.

A freshman delegate has proposed a simple way to make life a little easier for them.

Right now, veterans can have two ID cards — the Veteran’s Identification Card, which provides proof of veteran status for discounts from retailers and restaurants, and the standard driver’s license.

Del. John McGuire (R-Henrico) wants to merge them.

His bill would enable the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue driver’s licenses, permits and identification cards with an endorsement indicating that the holder is a veteran.

“You know, you always have your driver’s license with you. You don’t always have all the other cards that kind of fill up your wallet with you,” said Tom Rummel.

Rummel is a volunteer at the Virginia War Memorial. He’s a retired coast guardsman who served 20 years active duty.

He thinks McGuire’s proposal could be effective.

“It’d make it a lot easier for you to just pull our your driver’s license and show it to them,” he said.

McGuire said it’s a request he heard on the campaign trail.

“Veteran after veteran after veteran would say the things that they needed done, but this one kept popping up and I was like, we can get that done,” he said.

He’s gotten other lawmakers — Republicans and Democrats — to sign off on the idea.

“Out of 100 delegates, I have almost 100 signatures,” he said. “The only reason I don’t have all 100 is because it’s been hard to track everyone down.”

McGuire served the country for 10 years as a Navy SEAL.

“It’s an honor and privilege to serve in that capacity, and I see this position in the House of Delegates as a way to serve again,” he said.

Helping Virginia’s growing veteran population has been a core focus of his.

“Some people risk their money, some people risk their time and some people risk their life, so this is just one of many steps I’m going to make to support our veterans.”

McGuire said, if passed, Virginia would join 48 other states that have a veteran endorsement on driver’s licenses.

The bill will have its third and final reading in the House Monday.