The state of Delaware 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.
Vehicle registration benefits
Delaware waives registration and licensing fees for any vehicle owned by a disabled veteran who is eligible for adaptive equipment, such as power steering, power brakes, special equipment that assists the person in and out of the vehicle, etc.
Driver’s license veteran designation
Delaware veterans are eligible for a United States Veteran designation on their driver license. This allows veterans to obtain benefits from local businesses and other organizations without having to carry their DD 214 with them. While walk-ins are accepted to apply for this designation, appointments are preferred. Information about hours and locations may be found here.
Military honor plates
Delaware offers the following commemorative military plates:
- American Legion
- Delaware Veterans
- Disabled American Veterans
- Disabled American Veterans with handicap parking privileges
- Gold Star Family
- Honoring Veterans
- Korean War Veteran
- Missing in Action
- National Guard
- Operation Enduring Freedom
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Pearl Harbor Survivor
- Prisoner of War
- Purple Heart
- Reserve Forces
- Submarine Service
- Veterans Foreign War
- Vietnam Veteran
- Retired (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard)
- Air Medal
- Air Force Commendation Medal
- Army Commendation Medal
- Bronze Star
- Distinguished Flying Cross
- Distinguished Service Cross
- Navy Commendation Medal
- Navy Cross
- Silver Star
Special license plates require a $10 fee plus standard registration fees. Proof of eligibility may be required in the form of a military ID and/or DD 214 or documentation from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Applications for most plates can be found here.
Military skills test waiver
As of 2011, states are permitted to waive the road skills test portion of the CDL exam for certain military members or veterans with military commercial driving experience, thanks to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. As long as you meet certain criteria you may be eligible to obtain your CDL simply by passing the written examination. Among other things, you have to have two years or more of driving experience in vehicles comparable to commercial vehicles, and that experience must have taken place within the year prior to your discharge, or your application if you are still an active servicemember.
If you’ve been convicted of certain motor vehicle offenses (like committing a felony with a vehicle, driving under the influence, or leaving the scene of an accident) you may not be eligible, so be sure to check out the provisions in the application link below. All 50 states, plus Washington, D.C., now participate in the military skills test waiver program, making it easier than ever for military members and veterans to ease into civilian life.
Military personnel with qualifying experience can download and print the waiver here. Even if you qualify to bypass the driving test, you must still complete the written CDL test.
Military Commercial Driver’s License Act of 2012
If you’re stationed in Delaware – either permanently or temporarily – and it’s not your home state, this act makes it easier for you to get a CDL there. Active military personnel, including those in the Coast Guard, National Guard, and Reserves, are now eligible for a commercial driver’s license outside of their state of origin.
Driver license and registration renewal while deployed
If you are deployed or stationed out of state when your driver license is due for renewal, the Delaware DMV can accept your renewal by mail. If circumstances keep you from being able to renew in time, the DMV will waive late renewal fees for you and your family as long as you provide proof that you were stationed outside of the state at the time of expiration. This proof may be your military ID along with your orders, or a statement on Armed Forces letterhead, signed by a commissioned officer. The full list of information required to renew by mail is available here.
Residents on active duty stationed outside a 250-mile radius of a DE DMV office will have to submit an out-of-state inspection form along with endorsement from a mechanic or dealership, a copy of your DE driver license and insurance card, and the required fees, to the address specified on the form.
Non-resident military personnel driver license and vehicle registration
Non-resident military members stationed in Delaware may retain their driver license and vehicle registration, as long as these are kept current and valid.
Active or veteran military personnel can read more at the state’s motor vehicle division website here.