The state of Missouri 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 veteran residents of Missouri are entitled one Disabled American Veteran license plate at no charge. You must be a Missouri resident with honorable discharge. In order to qualify for a free Disabled Veteran plate you must submit this application along with a statement issued by the VA verifying that your disability is the result of military service. You can even personalize your license plate with no fee.
It’s important to note that this plate does not automatically enable you to use disabled parking spots. If you’d like this privilege added to your plate, you must submit a Physician’s Statement for Disabled License Plates/Placard.
Driver’s license veteran designation
Missouri offers veterans the opportunity to display their veteran status on their driver license or state ID card. This can help you obtain discounts and other benefits from local businesses and organizations without having to carry discharge papers with you as proof of service. In order to qualify for this indicator you can send your DD 214 or DD 2 to:
Missouri Veterans Commission
ATTN: Veterans Drivers License Designation
205 Jefferson Street PO Drawer 147
Jefferson City MO 65102-0147
The Commission will determine whether you meet criteria, and then send you a letter that you can take to the driver license office to apply for the veteran designation. There’s no additional charge for this indicator, unless you decide to add it before your renewal period is up, then standard fees will apply.
Military honor plates
Missouri offers a generous suite of military and veteran license plate choices. Most military plates require a $15 fee on top of normal registration fees, except for a select few like the Congressional Medal of Honor and Former POW plates.
Some plates require documentation verifying you are qualified to apply for the plate – you can find info about each one here. You can submit the application online, in person at a license office, or by mail.
Military skills test waiver
In 2011, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration made allowances for military veterans and active personnel to use their service-related truck driving experience in obtaining a CDL. SDLAs (State Driver Licensing Agencies) in all states – including Missouri – are now permitted to allow U.S. Military drivers to leverage their heavy vehicle driving experience in lieu of the CDL skills test. In order to qualify for the waiver, you must apply for the exemption within 12 months of leaving a military position requiring you to operate a commercial type vehicle. This experience must amount to a minimum of two years’ worth, plus you must meet other criteria as well (such as being free of conviction for certain motor vehicle violations).
The universal waiver created by the federal government is located here. If you qualify, you will still have to take the written examination before being granted a CDL.
Military Commercial Driver’s License Act of 2012
In order to make it easier on military personnel wishing to apply for a CDL in the state where they are stationed, this act makes it possible for local licensing agencies to give this type of license to qualified servicemembers based away from their home state. All branches of the military are eligible to apply for this benefit.
Driver license and vehicle registration renewal while deployed
If you are due to be stationed out of state or deployed overseas when your driver license is up for renewal you can either renew early at a local license office, or your submit Form 4317, available here by mail, along with the required fees and documents. Your dependents may also renew by mail.
If your license expires while you’re out of the state, you can renew for up to six months after honorable discharge, or within 90 days of returning to Missouri, whichever comes first. While you can renew your expired license without having to retake the exam, your license will not be valid for driving purposes after expiration.
Should your vehicle registration expire while you’re stationed outside of Missouri, you can renew without the penalty fee. Again, the registration is not valid after expiration. You will have to submit your official orders and date of discharge in order to have the fee waived.
Non-resident military personnel driver license and vehicle registration
Fortunately Missouri does honor out-of-state driver licenses, so you and your dependents are permitted to keep your home state license if you are stationed in MO. The state also allows you to keep your vehicle’s home state registration and license plates, as long as they are kept current and valid.
Active or veteran military personnel can find out more at the state’s Department of Revenue website here.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Missouri and was authored by Valerie Johnston.