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Some Veterans concerned over oversight of new veteran designation program

Updated: Wednesday, March 12 2014, 11:03 AM CDT
Reported by: Chris Nallan

HARRISBURG -- We've gotten word that some people applying for veteran ID cards aren't even veterans and aren't having trouble getting them.

So Tuesday night, we went out to get answers to find out how this is happening and the consequences people can face for falsely applying one.

Tuesday afternoon, we met up with Anthony Martinez, a former Marine who shares his concern with the new veteran designation.

"I'm just concerned about the abuse that some people may make by making a false claim," stated Martinez.

A false claim of stating that you are a veteran when you're not. Martinez suggests that more needs to be done in order to protect against outsiders trying to reap the benefits of our veterans.

"From my understanding there are not a whole lot of stipulations or requirements to show proof of your veteran status or prior military status," Martinez told us.

To apply for a veteran designation, veterans can visit PennDOT's website and fill out the form and check the box that says veteran.

We took this a step further to try to find answers for Martinez. We spoke with PennDOT to find out their role in this online process.

PennDOT provides the applications that veterans would need in order to receive this designation on their license. But there's more to it.

"We do ask our customers to self-certify that they are a veteran,” explained Jan McKnight with PennDOT. “But please note, that they are audited and it is under penalty of law if you falsify information to the government. You are subjected to a fine of $2,500 and up to a year in prison."

After speaking with PennDOT, we met with Joan Nissley at The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. As mentioned by PennDOT, they do audit those applying, but not all get audited.

"Our process is to audit ten percent of each days transmissions from PennDOT," says Nissley.

We discussed this with Martinez and he wasn't too surprised.

"Dealing with the Veterans Affairs myself, they’re overwhelmed as it is with things they deal with on a daily basis,” commented Martinez. “For them to have to sit there and audit a state government run program is something probably not followed through the best with."

In the long run, Martinez asks for people to respect the veterans and their benefits Pennsylvania now provides.

"It's great that they are doing that there's a lot of support for our military right now and that is absolutely phenomenal,” Martinez concluded.

If you are a veteran and would like a license designating your service, head to the DMV. Some Veterans concerned over oversight of new veteran designation program

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