By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter
An interim Alabama House committee tasked with making driver’s license offices more accessible and procedures more streamlined has announced a change that will make it easier for military veterans to update their status on their licenses just in time for Veterans Day.
State Rep. Randall Shedd, chairman of the Committee on Driver’s License Review, announced new procedures that will allow veterans to update their veteran status at their local probate office instead of waiting in line at one of the state’s few driver’s license offices.
“The new process allows veterans to secure accepted proof of their service in a faster manner with little to no wait time, and we are proud to announce this benefit for our nation’s heroes during the week of Veterans’ Day,” Shedd said.
Having easy access to proof of veteran status allows military veterans to take advantage of discounts and benefits available to them. But the process to get that status listed on their driver’s licenses has been cumbersome, Shedd said.
Before this change, veterans had to take military documentation including proof of service like a DD-214 form to the nearest driver’s license office — in some counties, these can be hours away. Once there, they had to wait in line with others including new drivers taking their first drivers’ test, those renewing suspended licenses and those seeking other assistance.
Now, veterans can take their documentation to their county’s probate judge office or satellite offices, where wait commutes and wait times are much shorter.
Several groups, including the Governor’s Office, the House, ALEA, Veterans’ Affairs and the Alabama Probate Judge’s Association participated in developing the new procedures.