The state of Kansas 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 registration fee waiver
Disabled veterans are eligible for one Disabled Veteran license plate free of charge. To qualify, you must be a resident, or a non-resident stationed in Kansas, with a service-connected disability of at least 50%. You must submit form TR-103, which must be signed by the Regional Director for the Veterans Administration and then provided to your local motor vehicle office.
Driver’s license veteran designation
Kansas veterans are eligible for a veteran designation on a driver license or state ID card; this designation is in the form of the word “Veteran” printed beneath the photo. In order to qualify, you must submit either your military discharge papers indicating your honorable discharge or general under honorable conditions, or a letter issued by the Kansas Veterans Commission. You can get this designation when you renew your driver license or state ID at no extra charge, or you can pay a nominal fee to have a new license issued prior to the renewal date.
Military honor plates
Kansas offers several distinguished military honor license plates commemorating the different military branches, service medals, specific campaigns, and individual battles. Eligibility for each of these plates requires certain criteria be met, including proof of current or past military service (honorable discharge), proof of having participated in a specific battle, or discharge papers or U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs documentation of the award received.
Plates are available for the following:
- Combat Wounded Purple Heart
- Congressional Medal of Honor
- Disabled Veteran
- Ex-Prisoner of War
- Gold Star Mother
- Pearl Harbor Survivor
- U.S. Veteran
- Vietnam Veteran
- Families of the Fallen (available to next of kin of a servicemember killed in action)
All military license plates require standard registration fees, with the exception of Disabled Veteran and Ex-Prisoner of War, which are issued with no fees paid. See requirements for each plate here.
Veteran license plates are also eligible for branch-specific decals, depicting one of the following Armed Forces branches:
- Air Force
- Marine Corps
- Coast Guard
- Merchant Marines
There are also combat ribbon and medal decals available for the Combat Wounded Purple Heart license plate. Each decal has a fee of $2, and you can place up to two per license plate.
Military skills test waiver
The Commercial Learner’s Permit rule was set into place in 2011 by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The FMCSA included a provision permitting states to honor the commercial driving experience of veterans and active military personnel in order to excuse them from taking the road skills portion of the CDL test once they return home. If you’d like to take advantage of this opportunity your military commercial driving experience must amount to a minimum of two years, and it must have occurred within 12 months of your discharge or application for the waiver (if still active in the military). In addition, you must be able to prove that you’ve had safe driving experience and no disqualifying vehicle offense convictions.
Some states provide their own form, or you can download and print the universal waiver here. Qualification for the skills test waiver does not exempt you from the written portion of the exam.
Military Commercial Driver’s License Act of 2012
If you’re an active member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Reserves, Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary, or National Guard, you may be eligible to receive a CDL in your base state – including Kansas – even if it’s not your state of residence. This law makes it easier for military personnel to make the most of their skills even when not at home.
Driver license renewal while deployed
Kansas allows for active duty military members and their dependents who are either deployed or otherwise stationed outside of the state to request a six-month extension should their license be up for renewal while they are out of state. In order to get the extension you must submit the Kansas Driver’s License Renewal, Extension or Replacement Form to the address provided on the form, along with the listed required documents and fees (if applicable for renewal or replacement – there is no fee for an extension). This benefit is also extended to dependents of military personnel stationed with that individual outside of the state.
If you’ve been deployed overseas, the state grants you a seven-day grace period to renew your vehicle registration once you return to the state. You can find a Temporary Transit Permit along with instructions here.
Non-resident military personnel driver license and vehicle registration
Kansas honors out-of-state driver’s licenses and vehicle registration for non-resident military stationed within the state.
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 Kansas and was authored by Valerie Johnston.