Quirk-Silva Legislation for Homeless and Poor Veterans Becomes Law

Monday, October 9, 2017


Sacramento, CA – Assembly Bill 363 (AB 363) by Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva (D-Orange County) was successfully signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. The law will waive the processing fee for homeless and low-income veterans who apply for a veteran designation on their California driver’s licenses and identification cards.

Current law requires the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to offer a driver's license or identification card printed with the word "veteran" on it, indicating that the possessor is a military veteran. However, all veterans are currently charged a fee for this service, a cost that homeless veterans may not be able to afford. AB 363 will waive the fee for low-income and homeless veterans that do not have the extra resources readily available to pay for the veteran designation.

According to Quirk-Silva, “Identification with a ‘Veteran’ designation will allow veterans to quickly and easily identify their status, without dealing with the impracticality of carrying around a DD-214; discharge papers and veterans separation documents.”

“Unfortunately for many of our veterans, it is as if they have not yet returned from battle. They need our help most of all. California has the largest veteran population in the country, and the largest percentage of homeless and low-income veterans in the nation. Assembly Bill 363 provides a simple, yet important, fee waiver to make it easier for these veterans to access all available resources, benefits, and services that they have earned,” said Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva.

In 2014, Quirk-Silva authored Assembly Bill 1733 (AB 1733), which requires county recorders to issue free birth certificates to any person, including veterans, who demonstrate he or she is homeless. To further help combat homelessness, the law also requires the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to issue a free original or replacement identification card to anyone who can verify homelessness. With this process in place, the DMV is better equipped to help veterans and the homeless population. This provision greatly improves quality of life for those in need to access services, and it increases the ability for law enforcement to identify and assist those in need.

More information about the bill can be found here.