Nearly 9000 Ocean County veterans are taking advantage of the new statewide free Veterans I-D Card Program but more are encouraged to apply. 

Veterans ID Card (Ocean County Clerk's Office)

County Clerk Scott Colabella says as part of a new Veterans ID Card Act, Honorably Discharged Veterans can bring their DD-214 papers and apply at their offices in Toms River or Manahawkin.

"There's a very brief application that they're required to fill out.  We ask them to list the branch of service that they served in and the (DD-214) document is actually recorded in our office."

Colabella says there are several advantages of the new photo ID card program.  He says it can be used as a place to store a copy of a vet's discharge papers. Also, in case of loss, either the vet or a family member can get a free certified copy from the County Clerk's office.

Colobella says the card itself can also be used as proof of service to show New Jersey merchants or gain beach access and other recreation programs offered to veterans.  He says it "identifies that the veteran has recorded this document.  It list their branch of service, the date the document was recorded, has a photo of the veteran, as well as their signature."

However, he says the cards are not designed to replace Federal Veterans Identification needed to access government programs such as VA Hospitals and Clinics.

The cards are the result of the new Veterans ID Card Act which was signed into law by Governor Chris Christie in August.

Veterans through out the state can go to their county clerk's office to apply.  In Ocean County, veterans can go to any one of two County Clerks Office locations in Toms River or Manahawkin.