The state of Indiana offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the past, or are current active military members.
Disabled veteran license plate
Indiana offers a Disabled Hoosier Veteran plate for those who are certified eligible by the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs. The plate may be used on any passenger car or truck up to 11,000 pounds, as well as a motorcycle or recreational vehicle. This plate also entitles the owner to use parking spaces intended for disabled drivers. You must submit form 32584, Certification of Eligibility for Veteran License Plates, which can be downloaded here, to any Indiana BMV branch.
Driver’s license veteran designation
Indiana veterans can choose to add a veteran designation to a driver license or ID card. You will need to provide a DD 214 or other verifying document from the Department of Defense, showing honorable discharge. If this is done during initial application or renewal, there is no extra charge. If you choose, however, to add the veteran designation before your license or ID is up for renewal, there will be a $10.50 fee.
Active duty military personnel may add a military designation to a license or ID. You must present your current military ID card during application or renewal in order to have this designation added.
Military honor plates
Indiana offers a host of military license plates honoring veterans and displaying your participation in a specific Armed Forces branch, conflict, or as an award recipient. Military license plates come along with regular vehicle registration fees and taxes, and some are also subject to a group fee (set by the sponsoring group).
- Air Force Veteran ($15 group fee)
- Army Veteran ($15 group fee)
- Coast Guard Veteran ($15 group fee)
- Disabled Hoosier Veteran
- Ex-Prisoner of War
- Gold Star Family
- Marine Corps Veteran ($15 group fee)
- Merchant Marine Veteran ($15 group fee)
- National Guard
- Navy Veteran ($15 group fee)
- Pearl Harbor Survivors Association
- Purple Heart
- Support Our Troops ($20 group fee)
Some plates require documentation verifying eligibility. All plates except Disabled Hoosier Veteran, Gold Star Family, and National Guard may be renewed online after initial registration is completed in person.
Motorcycle skills test waiver
Indiana recognizes approved motorcycle safety courses administered in another state or in one of the five military branches. Applicants are eligible for a motorcycle endorsement upon showing proof of completion of one of these courses. More information is available here.
Military skills test waiver
Courtesy of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration the Commercial Learner’s Permit rule now allows State Driver Licensing Agencies to permit military personnel and veterans to use their service-related truck driving experience in lieu of the CDL skills test. Eligibility to skip this portion of the testing process includes two years of heavy vehicle operation, and some of that driving experience has to have been in the year prior to applying for the waiver. All 50 states and Washington, D.C. participate in the program.
Although some states do have their own skills test waiver, you can download and print the standard federal form here. Even if you qualify you must still complete the written CDL test.
Military Commercial Driver’s License Act of 2012
The enactment of this legislation provides authorization to states to issue a CDL to active military members, including all branches, plus the Reserves, National Guard, and Coast Guard, who are stationed in a state other than their home state.
Driver license and vehicle registration renewal while deployed
Indiana makes driver license renewal easy – if you are deployed overseas or stationed outside of the state your license will remain valid for 90 days following discharge or return to Indiana, regardless of your original expiration date. Simply carry a printed copy of the Military Extension Letter, along with your license and proof of your military status, whenever you are driving.
If you don’t wish to take advantage of the Indiana military driver license extension you also have the option to renew your license online, as long as your name and address are still the same as the one on your current license. You may not renew online if your license has been expired for more than six months.
The state allows you to have your registration renewal notice sent to a family member or friend’s address so that they can forward it to your location. Simply register that address as the address of record with the Indiana BMV.
Non-resident military personnel driver license and vehicle registration
Indiana honors out-of-state driver’s licenses of non-resident military personnel stationed in the state. In addition, non-resident military members can renew their vehicle registration in Indiana by bringing the following to a branch office:
- Copy of Leave and Earnings Statement
- Form 46402 (Military Affidavit) signed by commanding officer
- Current valid military ID
Active or veteran military personnel can read more at the state’s motor vehicle division website here.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Indiana and was authored by Valerie Johnston.