Butler County veterans will soon have the opportunity to purchase a special identification card that will give them access to discounts at local businesses.
Butler County Recorder Danny Crank, who for many years has been the legislative chair of the state recorders’ association, helped pass legislation for the photo ID cards. The next step is to standardize and implement the program.
A state-level committee is being formed to pick a standardized card, and Crank thinks he can begin issuing the IDs by September. Caroline Bier, who serves as the executive director of Butler County’s veterans commission, will serve on that committee.
“I think a lot of people just want to be able to show something that they are a veteran,” she said. “If they are not eligible for VA health care, if someone goes to the VA and gets health care they can get an ID card from the VA. But we do have a lot of vets that either don’t apply for it or are not eligible for VA health care and they have no other way to show their veteran status.”
The main benefit of the cards is to get discounts for veterans — it cannot be used to get VA benefits — who will now have a convenient way to prove they have served their country. Driver’s licenses do designate veterans, but Crank said that because his office already records veteran discharge papers it was logical for the state recorders to issue the cards.
He also noted getting an ID from his office will be a lot faster than at a typical BMV office.
“I’m going to be working with the chambers of commerce and local businesses to try to get them to honor this veteran’s ID card and a discount for veterans at local merchants in Butler County,” Crank said.
About 37 county recorders have already been issuing the cards throughout Ohio, according to Crank.
Lake and VanWert counties have already been issuing ID cards and they have a wide array of businesses, everything from restaurants, financial institutions, hair salons and plumbing companies that offer discounts, usually in the 10 percent range. Lake County has culled 100 businesses and VanWert has 33 participating merchants.
The law that authorized the cards stipulates a veteran must present their discharge papers for recording and two forms of identification, one with a picture. The law also says a fee of up to $2 must be paid. Crank said the county commissioners must sign off on the program and set the fee, which he assumes will be $1.
If businesses are interested in participating they should call Crank’s office at 513-887-3188. The office is located at 130 High St. in Hamilton on the second floor.
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