Theresa May reveals Britain’s 2.5 million military veterans are to be formally recognised with their own ID for the first time.
The MoD is working with the Department for Transport and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency on the design for the special driving licenses which will be rolled out from next year
For many, the ID card will come in the form of a special new driving license which will be stamped with a large ‘V’.
Those who don’t drive will be issued with their own separate card.
In a twofold purpose, the special IDs will give vets immediate and easy access to specialist services, which already stretch from priority health care and housing to hundreds of retail discount offers.
Secondly, they are intended to be a badge of honour for all ex-Royal Navy, Army and RAF personnel who have served their country.
The move – which mirrors US’s Veterans Affairs ID card – answers a long standing call by vets, who often struggle to prove they have served without producing a pile of paperwork.
It is the first time the state has ever issued official proof of identity for veterans despite generations making the sacrifice of service over the centuries.
The ID was the brain child of Veterans Minister Tobias Ellwood.
Tory MP Mr Ellwood explained: “As a former soldier, I am aware of the personal attachment with the service ID.”
“Carried at all times, it becomes symbolic of the responsibility and there is a strange sense of loss when upon departing the Armed Forces, it is taken from you.”
“I’m delighted this initiative, which sits in the Armed Forces Covenant, will help us all better recognise our veterans and their service to our Country.”