Free ID cards for veterans may come to Madison County after the County Recorder brought a proposal to the county Commissioners on Monday.
County Recorder Charles E. Reed and Jennifer Moore, director of the county’s veteran services explained to commissioners how providing these veteran’s ID cards might be beneficial to the community.
“One county recorder up in Stark County, Rick Campbell, started issuing them because he saw there was a need for them.”
Most veterans carry a form called a DD214, which shows discharge status and other information in order to verify certain benefits for veterans.
“When you go to Lowes or Home Depot or anywhere that gives veterans a discount, it’s hard to prove without a copy of that DD214,” said Reed.
However, the document is considerably valuable for veterans, akin to a Social Security card or a W-2 Tax form. It’s also somewhat time consuming to get a replacement.
However, the state of Ohio allows county governments to issue a standardized veteran’s ID card in lieu of the other form. They are valid for 10 years before requiring renewal. In order for the recorder to offer them, the commissioners need to approve it and purchase supplies and tools to make them. The machines cost about $4,800 and come with supplies for about 500 cards.
“Right now, if they want this veteran’s card they go to Franklin County, Pickaway County and I think Fayette County,” said Reed.
They are allowed to charge up to $2 for each card in order to cover supply costs.
From a survey of the 88 counties, Reed said 22 out of the 37 who responded said they issued the card. Half of them distribute it for free.
The cards could potentially be funded by local charities, as Reed said a new Ohio law allows them to accept donations towards funding the cards.
Commissioner David Hunter advocated distributing them for free but wanted to see if they could charge a courtesy fee should the veteran lose their initial free card.
Reed said several counties have a re-issue fee for replacements.
The commissioners said they were receptive to the idea and asked if he could bring more information on how to move forward.
Maximilian Kwiatkowski can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1617, or on Twitter @msfkwiat.