New Laws Affecting Military Personnel and Veterans

New Laws Affecting Military Personnel and Veterans

Press Release From State Rep. Dan Carter–






Talk about the state’s budget problems dominated newspaper headlines since the start of the year, but the 2011 legislative session saw work performed in a variety of other areas. For example, the General Assembly considered and approved several proposals tied to veterans and military service.

For one, a new law requires the state’s Department of Veterans’ Affairs to publish an informational page on its Web site listing benefits, services or programs offered by any state or federal agency, department or institution that are offered to veterans or their families. The list should include: information concerning eligibility requirements as well as the application process for benefits, services and programs; and names and contact information—including Web links—of entities offering the services.

That law, which became effective July 1, should help veterans get a clearer picture, and chart a path toward, services and benefits available to them. It’s the least we could do.

Under another new law, local and regional school boards get authority to award high school diplomas to Korean War veterans who didn’t receive them because they left for military service before graduating. It was an option previously available to those who served in World War II. To qualify under the new guidelines, an honorably discharged veteran must have been on active duty between June 27, 1950 and October 27, 1953 in either the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps or Coast Guard—or any of their reserve outfits. Those who served in the Connecticut National Guard are eligible, too.

Family members of deceased veterans get relief under another new law, which waives a $20 fee for one certified copy of a veteran’s death certificate when a spouse, child or parent requests it. That request must be filed where the town or city where the death occurred or through the state Department of Public Health’s office of vital records. Under existing law, a veteran is an individual honorably discharged or released under honorable conditions from active service in the U.S. armed forces.

Another new law extends the authority of the Department of Motor Vehicles commissioner to issue special registration certifications and veterans license plates to active U.S. armed forces members—as long as they’ve owned or leased the vehicle for one year. Those who qualify include members of the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Air Force and any of their reserve components—including the Connecticut National Guard under federal service. The commissioner already provides certificates and plates to veterans or their surviving spouses under the same conditions.

This new law also requires an armed forces member who is dishonorably discharged to return plates to the commissioner within 30 days after the discharge, and it prohibits the commissioner from renewing the special plates for vehicles that person owns or leases. By law, anyone who fails to surrender a plate when the commissioner demands it is subject to a fine up to $200.

And finally, there’s a new law that requires the Department of Motor Vehicles commissioner to include a person’s status as a veteran on his or driver’s license or identity card after their request is verified. The law extends a free lifetime pass for state parks, forests and recreational facilities to any resident who is a disabled wartime veteran.

Feel free to contact my office at 800-842-1423 if you have questions about these new laws or any other issue related to state government.

Rep. Dan Carter

Bethel, Danbury, Redding


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Posted on September 10, 2011, in Home and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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