The Ohio House of Representatives today passed legislation that gives military veterans in Ohio another option for documenting their veteran status for purposes like employment applications, veteran hospital services and discounts at participating retail establishments and restaurants.
“A state issued identification card will help streamline veteran identification and also protect the veterans’ privacy by not displaying a Social Security Number or a date of birth on the front of the card. It is the easiest and best option for both government agencies and businesses for identification purposes that is universally accepted,” said Rep. Lou Terhar (R-Cincinnati), who sponsored the legislation with Rep. Marlene Anielski (R-Walton Hills).
Specifically, HB 173 allows counties to authorize the issuance of veteran identification cards to qualifying individuals, either through the county recorder or the county veterans service office. While some county recorders already issue the identification cards, HB 173 seeks to standardize the cards and give veterans more options. The identification card will be useful for certain veterans who do not fit into a category to receive a veteran ID card distributed by the federal government or through their local registrar’s office.
“Substitute House Bill 173 will streamline the process in which a veteran or military personnel can access their rightfully deserved Vet ID card,” Anielski said. “Anything that the General Assembly can do to support our Ohio veterans, who had made many personal sacrifices, should be a common sense initiative, and I am grateful for the support from my colleagues today.”
It also provides veterans with an alternate route to using their DD 214 forms—a document issued by the US Defense Department upon retirement or discharge from the military—which is bulky and contains information too sensitive to reasonably carry around at all times.
No materials involved in the application process—including photographs, documents or other information obtained by a county recorder or veterans service office—are considered public records.
The bill now awaits consideration in the Ohio Senate.