Veterans

State and Federal Law

Driver’s License and ID issuance fees (Texas Transportation Code, Section 521.426)

A veteran is exempt from the payment of fees for the issuance of a driver's license or personal identification certificate if the veteran:

  • was honorably discharged;
  • has a service-related disability of at least 60 percent; and
  • receives compensation because of the disability.

The exemption does not apply to those individuals identified as registered sex offenders.

License plates and registration for vehicles owned and driven by disabled veterans (Texas Transportation Code, Section 504.202):

A person entitled to veteran specialty license plates may register, for the person's own use, one vehicle without payment of any fee paid for or at the time of registration except the fee for the license plates.

A veteran is entitled to register, for their own use, motor vehicles under the above exemption if:

  • the person has suffered, as a result of military service:
    • at least a 50 percent service-connected disability; or
    • a 40 percent service-connected disability because of the amputation of a lower extremity;
  • the person receives compensation because of the disability; and
  • the motor vehicle:
    • is owned by the person; and
    • has a gross vehicle weight of 18,000 pounds or less or is a motor home.

An organization may register a motor vehicle and receive this exemption if:

  • the vehicle is used exclusively to transport veterans who have suffered, as a result of military service, a service-connected disability;  and
  • the veterans are not charged for the transportation.

License plates issued must include:

  • the letters "DV" on the plate if the plate is issued for a vehicle other than a motorcycle; and
  • the words "Disabled Veteran" and "U.S. Armed Forces" at the bottom of each license plate.

The fee for the first set of license plates is $3. There is no fee for any additional set of license plates.

A person, who receives DV license plates, may receive a disabled parking placard for each set of license plates without providing additional documentation.

Accessible parking for disabled veterans (Texas Transportation Code, Sections 681.008):

A vehicle may be parked in a parking space or area that is designated specifically for persons with physical disabilities if the vehicle:

  • is being operated by or for the transportation of:
    • the person who registered the vehicle, and
    • displays special license plates issued; or
    • displays license plates issued by another state that indicate that the owner or operator of the vehicle is a disabled veteran.

A vehicle may be parked in a parking space or area that is designated specifically for persons with physical disabilities on the property of an institution of higher education, regardless of whether a permit is generally required for the use of the space or area. 

  • An institution of higher education may require a vehicle to display a parking permit issued by the institution, but may not charge a fee for the permit. 

A vehicle on which DV license plates are displayed is exempt from the payment of a parking fee collected through a parking meter charged by a governmental authority other than a branch of the federal government, when being operated by or for the transportation of:

  • the person who registered the vehicle, or;
  • The owner or operator of a vehicle displaying DV license plates.

An individual is in violation of parking laws if:

  • the person parks a vehicle on which license plates and a disabled parking placard are not displayed in a parking space or area designated specifically for individuals with disabilities.
  • the person parks a vehicle so that the vehicle blocks an architectural improvement designed to aid persons with disabilities, including an access aisle or curb ramp.
  • the person lends a disabled parking placard issued to the person to a person who uses the placard in violation of this section.
  • the person does not have a disability;
  • the vehicle is not transporting a person with a disability.

What assistance can veterans get with VA Benefits (Texas Government Code, Section 434.007)

The Texas Veterans Commission (TVC) informs members and veterans of the armed forces, their families and dependents, and military and civilian authorities about the existence or availability of:

  • educational training and retraining facilities;
  • health, medical, rehabilitation, and housing services and facilities;
  • employment and reemployment services;
  • provisions of federal, state, and local law affording rights, privileges, and benefits to members and veterans of the armed forces and their families and dependents; and
  • other similar, related, or appropriate matters;
  • assists veterans and their families and dependents in presenting, proving, and establishing claims, privileges, rights, and benefits they may have under federal, state, or local law;
  • cooperates with all government and private agencies securing services or benefits to veterans and their families and dependents;
  • investigates, and if possible corrects, abuses or exploitation of veterans or their families or dependents, and recommends necessary legislation for full correction;
  • coordinates the services and activities of state departments and divisions having services and resources affecting veterans or their families or dependents;
  • with the assistance and cooperation of the comptroller, inform and assist veterans and their families and dependents with respect to discovering and initiating claims for unclaimed property held by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs;

Veterans County Service Offices (Texas Government Code, Section 434.032)

All counties with a population of 200,000 or more have a veterans county service office that is:

  • separate and distinct from other county offices;
  • staffed by at least one full-time employee; and
  • report directly to the commissioners court.

In a county with a population of less than 200,000, the commissioners court may maintain and operate a veterans county service office if the commissioners court determines that the office is a public necessity to enable county residents who are veterans to promptly, properly, and rightfully obtain benefits to which they are entitled.

Find a list of veteran service offices.

Veteran Entrepreneur Program (Texas Government Code, Section 434.022)

The veteran entrepreneur program is operated by the TVC to foster and promote veteran entrepreneurship and business ownership.

The program provides assistance to veteran entrepreneurs and business owners by:

  • Bringing awareness to veteran entrepreneurs' and business owners' of federal and state benefits and services available to those veterans;
  • assessing the need for benefits and services among veteran entrepreneurs and business owners;
  • advocating for veteran entrepreneurs and working to increase public awareness about the needs of veteran entrepreneurs and business owners;
  • providing information about opportunities for veteran entrepreneurs and business owners in the commission's collaborative network of businesses and organizations;
  • providing guidance to veteran entrepreneurs and business owners through conferences, seminars, and training workshops with federal, state, and private agencies; and
  • promoting events and activities that recognize or honor veteran entrepreneurs and business owners.

Find more information about this program on the entrepreneurs page of the TVC website.  

Home and Land Loan Programs (Texas Natural Resource Code Chapters 162 and 164)

The Texas Veterans Land Board (VLB) provides low-interest loans to Veterans and Military Members in Texas.

  • Land Loans: The VLB gives Texas Veterans and Military Members the opportunity to borrow money to purchase land at favorable interest rates and terms while only requiring a minimum 5% down payment.
  • Home Loans: In 1983, the Legislature created the VLB Veterans Housing Assistance Program to assist Texas Veterans and Military Members in purchasing a home. Through this program, eligible Texas Veterans and Military Members have an opportunity to purchase a home with an unbeatable, low-interest loan.
  • Home Improvement Loans: As part of its commitment to Veterans, the VLB can help a Veteran or Military Member buy a home, then help pay to improve it through the Texas Veterans Home Improvement Program (VHIP). This program was introduced in 1986 to provide below-market interest rate loans to qualified Texas Veterans and Military Members for home repairs and improvements to their existing homes.
  • SCRA Assistance: Reservists and National Guard troops with a VLB Land, Home or Home Improvement Loan may be able to defer interest payments when called up for active duty, thanks to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).

Course Credit for Military Service (Texas Education Code, Section 51.3042)

An institution of higher education will award to an undergraduate student course credit for all physical education courses required by the institution for an undergraduate degree and for additional semester credit hours that can be applied to satisfy any elective course requirements for the student's degree program for courses outside the student's major or minor if the student:

  • graduated from a public or private high school accredited by a generally recognized accrediting organization or from a high school operated by the United States Department of Defense; and
  • is an honorably discharged former member of the armed forces of the United States who:
    • completed at least two years of service in the armed forces; or
    • was discharged because of a disability.
  • An institution of higher education may award additional course credit for a student's military service as the institution considers appropriate.

Mental health program for veterans (Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 1001 Subchapter I)

The Health and Human Services Commission operates the mental health intervention program for veterans that include:

  • peer-to-peer counseling;
  • access to licensed mental health professionals for peer service coordinators and peers;
  • training approved by the department for peer service coordinators, licensed mental health professionals, and peers;
  • technical assistance for peer service coordinators, licensed mental health professionals, and peers;
  • suicide prevention training for peer service coordinators and peers;
  • veteran jail diversion services, including veterans treatment courts; and
  • coordination of mental health first aid for veterans training to veterans and immediate family members of veterans.

Texas Historically Underutilized Business Program (Texas Government Code, 2161.001):

The comptroller encourages the use of historically underutilized businesses (HUBs) by state agencies and assists agencies in the implementation of this policy. The purpose of the HUB program is to promote full and equal business opportunities for all businesses in an effort to remedy disparity in state procurement and contracting in accordance with the HUB goals specified in the State of Texas Disparity Study, including veterans.

For more information about the program visit the FAQ page on the Texas Comptroller’s website.   

The Fund for Veterans’ Assistance (Texas Government Code, Section 434.017)

The Fund for Veterans’ Assistance (Fund) is a special fund in the state treasury outside the general revenue fund. The Fund is composed of money deposited from a Texas Lottery Commission Veterans’ Assistance game, donations from vehicle registration and drivers’ license renewals, donations from License to Carry renewals, donations from hunting and fishing license renewals, gifts and grants contributed to the Fund, and the earnings of the Fund. 

TVC is authorized to administer the Fund and make reimbursement grants to address the needs of veterans and their families, as determined through veteran needs assessment studies. All grant awards are made through a competitive grant selection process.

TVC annually announces funding opportunities for five different grants including General Assistance Grants, Housing for Texas Heroes Grants, Veterans Mental Health Grants, Veteran Treatment Courts Grants, and Veteran County Service Office Grants.

  • General Assistance (GA) Grants:
    • Employment Support: Resources that support veterans to prepare for, secure, and maintain employment.
    • Financial Assistance: Short-term and temporary in nature, and is intended to provide financial relief to beneficiaries who can demonstrate financial need.
    • Homeless Veteran Support: Addresses acute and chronic conditions underlying the veteran’s homeless status.
    • Pro Bono Legal Services: Includes legal aid, legal clinics and other legal services provided at no cost to veterans, active-duty members of the United States Armed Forces, and members of the state military forces.
    • Referral Services: Includes those programs that provide information and referral programs.
    • Supportive Services: Includes services, projects and activities that provide longer-term support for veterans and their families to enable stability and promote veteran family integration with the community.
    • Transportation Programs & Services: Assists organizations that provide a transportation service to the veteran beneficiaries in their local area, county or region.
  • The Housing for Texas Heroes (H4TXH) Grant Program provides home modifications and home repair for veterans and their families.
  • The Veterans Mental Health (VMH) Grant Program is comprised of two service categories that collectively provide counseling and treatment to veterans and their families in addressing diagnosed conditions in order to improve their quality of life, relationships, outlook, and successful integration with their communities.
  • The Veterans Treatment Court (VTC) Grant Program supports eligible units of local government in providing services through Veterans Treatment Court (VTC) programs established under Texas Government Code §124.001-.006. Grant funding is intended to support rehabilitation for justice involved veterans to best prepare them for reintegration with their communities.
  • Veteran County Service Office (VCSO) Grants include all the service categories listed in the General Assistance Grant Program, Housing for Texas Heroes Grant Program, and Veterans Mental Health Grant Program. Veteran County Service Officers are eligible to submit one application for any of the service categories and must serve as the project coordinator for the services if awarded a grant.

Find more information about this program on grants page of the TVC website. 

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