By Stacy Kess
Three months after the Delaware County Recorder’s Office began offering veterans a special identification card, more than 400 cards have been issued.
County Recorder Melissa Jordan said she did not know how many cards would be issued after the the recorder’s office began offering United States Veteran Document Identification Card March 8 as an alternative to carrying a copy of DD214 paperwork for veterans wishing to obtain benefits offered by the county to veterans.
She said veterans — especially newly discharged military personnel — are coming to her office in “a steady stream.”
“Having the veterans coming here is the highlight of my staff’s day and the highlight of my day,” Jordan said. “They’re thankful for what we’re doing, but we’re thankful for what they have done.”
She said the cards are being issued to both Delaware veterans and veterans from smaller contiguous counties that do not offer their own ID program. The recorder’s office also held off-site ID issuing last week at the Columbus State Community College Delaware Campus with the Franklin County Recorder’s Office.
Jordan said she wants to continue that type of outreach and off-site access to IDs.
“We’re equipping ourselves to (print IDs outside the recorder’s office) on our own so we can go with the veterans are,” she said. “I’m looking forward that kind of aspect of it as we move forward.”
Community leader and Vietnam-era veteran Harold Wolford brought the idea to the county a year ago as a way to give veterans an alternative to carrying papers and an easier way to identify themselves as veterans.
“(Harold) actually planted the seed,” said County Commissioner Gary Merrell at the kick-off event in March. “Then Melissa came in, but he started us down this road.”
Veteran ID cards look similar to a driver’s license, but reference a copy of the DD214 is kept on file at the county recorders office.
About a year and a half ago, Jordan was discussing the same idea at a Recorder’s Association meeting, but was unsure if the program was attainable on the recorder’s office budget. The costs came in the form of software and a printer like those that make driver’s licenses. She said vendors who sell the products saw Ohio counties were interested in issuing veteran IDs and began offering discounts that made the program viable without increasing her budget.
She was also able to make it affordable to veterans: the card costs $1.
IDs are issued during regular business hours at the Hayes Building, 140 N. Sandusky St., first floor.
To get the ID, veterans file their DD214 with the Recorder’s Office by bringing in the original or a certified copy from the Veterans Services Commission. Filing the DD214 with the recorder’s office is free. Veterans can then get the ID card by presenting two forms of ID. The ID includes address, birth date, years of service, branch of military and references that the DD214 is on file with the Recorder’s Office. An ID photo is taken at the Recorder’s Office.
The ID can be used for proof of military service, documentation for veteran’s benefits such as home and student loans, health benefits and other services, veteran’s discounts at some retail and commercial businesses, and to obtain duplicate copies of the DD214 from the Recorder’s Office.
For more information, call 740-833-2460 or 740-833-2460, or visit www.co.delaware.oh.us/recorder.
Reporter Stacy Kess can be found on Twitter @StacyMKess.