As of January 1, the word veteran will be appearing in red letters on many Montana driver's licenses.

"This last legislative session, a bill was passed that authorizes the word veteran to be placed on a Montana state driver's license, or on the Montana ID card," said Montana Veterans Affairs Division Administrator Joe Foster, "It's, I think, a great benefit, if a veteran wants it, but it is not mandatory by any means."

Before this change it was difficult for many veterans to prove that they had served in the military.

"It can really be of assistance with a lot of businesses that provide veteran discounts," Foster said. "Because, as it stands right now, there isn't really any identification unless you are retired military or enrolled in the VA health system, where you can show an identification card."

For those interested in adding their veteran status to their driver's license or ID card, the first step is to contact the Department of Montana Veterans Affairs and request veteran confirmation. After that, applications can be finalized either through the mail or through one of the state's many driver's license offices.

There is no cost to add the designation to a driver's license if it is done during a regular renewal, however, to add between renewal dates will cost $10. Adding veteran status to the Montana identification card is $16.

Joe Foster: