Official Government Website

State Benefits and Services

“…to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan.” – President A. Lincoln

Public Employee Veterans Hiring Preference

Veterans hiring preference closely mirrors the rules within the Federal Government. Specific Information can be found in Idaho Statute Title 65, Chapter 5.

General Information

Idaho Law provides Veterans preference points for individuals who have been in active service, other than active duty for training, of the United States as defined by Idaho Code, Title 65, Chapter 5, Section 502(6), & U.S.C Section 2108. (See specific eligibility information below). Veterans preference points are also provided for individuals who have served on active duty in the armed services, have been discharged honorably, & who have a present service connected disability of 10% or more, or are a Purple Heart recipient. Veterans preference points are added to the final passing score & may improve a Veterans position on a list of qualified candidates. The preference points added are used only for initial appointment & not for promotions, transfers, or reassignments. Veterans preference requires public employers to provide additional consideration for eligible Veterans, but it does not guarantee the Veteran a job.

Who is Eligible

To be eligible for Veterans preference points you must have been discharged under honorable conditions. Veterans preference points are available on the initial hire only.

Preference Points

5 Points.  Preference eligible Veterans discharged under honorable conditions, or the widow or widower of a preference eligible Veteran, as long as she or he remains unmarried, are eligible for five (5) preference points.

10 Points.  Disabled Veterans are defined as any individual who has served on active duty in the armed services at any time, who has been discharged under honorable conditions, & who has a present service connected disability of 10% or more or are Purple Heart recipients. They are eligible for 10 points that will be added to the earned rating & shall be placed on the register in accordance with their augmented rating. Widows or widowers of any disabled Veteran or Purple Heart recipient honorably discharged may also claim the 10 points if he or she remains unmarried. Spouses of disabled Veterans may claim preference if the Veteran is unable to qualify for any public employment because of a service-connected disability.

10 points with offer of interview: Disabled Veterans discharged under honorable conditions who served on active duty in the armed forces at any time & who have a service connected disability of 30% or more shall be offered an interview if they are one (1) of the top ten (10) qualified applicants. Widows or widowers of any disabled Veteran may also claim the 10 points if he or she remains unmarried — however they will not be guaranteed an interview if he or she is one (1) of the top ten (10) qualified applicants.

Preference Eligible Veterans

  • Served on active duty in the armed forces at any time, & separated under honorable conditions & has established the existence of a service-connected disability of 10% or more; OR
  • are Purple Heart recipients; OR
  • Served on active duty at any time from December 7, 1941 & ending July 1, 1955; OR
  • Served on active duty for 180 consecutive days, any part of which occurred after January 31, 1955, & before October 15, 1976; OR
  • Served on active duty at any time from August 2, 1990, & ending on January 2, 1992; OR
  • Served on active duty for a period of more than 180 consecutive days, any part of which occurred during the period beginning on September 11, 2001, & ending when prescribed by Presidential proclamation or by law as the last date of Operation Iraqi Freedom; OR
  • Have been awarded an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (AFEM), whether listed here or not**, is qualified for Veterans preference. Examples of some of the most common campaign medals are: Vietnam (Service Medal), El Salvador, Lebanon, Granada, Panama, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Southwest Asia (Persian Gulf), Somalia, & Haiti; OR if you are the spouse of a disabled Veteran who is physically unable to perform any work; or the widow(er) of a preference eligible or disabled Veteran; please refer to our Veterans preference form in your online application for more information.

The Veteran must have been separated from the Armed Forces under honorable conditions & your DD214 may be requested to verify your Veteran status at time of appointment

Reference Idaho Code, Title 65, Chapter 5, Section 502 (6) U.S.C. Section 2108.

For a complete list of wars, campaigns, & expeditions of the Armed Forces which qualify for Veterans preference, go to OPM VetGuide

Veterans Requesting to Open a Register:

Disabled Veterans: May be eligible to open a closed announcement for which there is an existing register.

Other Veterans: Within 120 days of discharge may also be eligible to open a closed announcement for which there is an existing register.

Department of Labor Veteran Services

Professional License

If you are a member of the armed forces, an honorably discharged veteran, or the spouse of an active member or veteran of the military, you are entitled to certain benefits because of your service.  Those benefits may include expedited processing of your application and credit for military training that is relevant to the occupational license/registration for which you are applying.

For a full explanation of eligibility and a comprehensive description of benefits available, see Idaho Code § 67-94 Occupational Licensing Reform Act.  Additionally, active members of the military may be eligible for a waiver of renewal fees and other renewal requirements; see Idaho Code 67-2606.

If you have questions, please contact the Idaho Division of Occupational and Professional Licenses by email at dopl@dopl.idaho.gov or by phone at (208) 334-3233.

For email contacts of specific Occupational or Licensing Boards visit https://dopl.idaho.gov/contact-us/.

Veterans Specialty Licenses Plates

All license plates and registration information can be obtained at:  Idaho DMV Online Services

The following Veterans Specialty Licenses Plates are available through the Idaho Department of Transportation:

Application For Military Standard License Plates – ITD Form 3682

  • Branch of Service (Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard)
  • Choice of Veteran (no conflict designation); World War II; Korea; Vietnam; Persian Gulf; Afghanistan/Iraq (post 9/11/01 service)

Application For Military Specialty License Plates – ITD Form 3587

Application for Disability Veteran or Disability Purple Heart Plates – ITD Form 3397

* For Prisoner of War or Medal of Honor recipients – contact ITD/Special Plates at (208) 334-8649 for application instructions.

Veterans Designation on Driver’s Licenses

Starting November 10, 2014 Veterans who present valid documentation showing proof of honorable discharge from military service will be provided veteran designation on their Idaho Driver’s license or state-issued identification card. There is no charge to add the veteran designation to a new or renewed Idaho driver’s license or identification card. There will be a $15 duplicate card fee to add the veteran designation at any other time. The designation is permanent, and will not incur any additional costs.

List of Acceptable Documents for Proof of Honorable Service

  • DD Form 214 from any branch of the armed forces [copy 4 (members copy)]
  • DD Form 215 from any branch of the armed forces
  • DD Form 217 from any branch of the armed forces
  • GSA Form 6954 from the National Archives
  • NA Form 13038 from the National Archives
  • NA Form 13041 from the National Archives
  • NAVCG Form 2510 from the United States Coast Guard
  • NAVMC Form 70-PD from the United States Marine Corps
  • NAVMC Form 78-PD from the United States Marine Corps
  • NAVPERS Form 553 from the United States Navy NAVPERS
  • Form 554 from the United States Navy
  • NAVPERS Form 660 from the United States Navy NAVPERS
  • Form 661 from the United States Navy
  • NGB Form 22 from the National Guard
  • Bureau PHS Form 1867 from the US Public Health Services
  • WD AGO Form 53-55 from the United States Army
  • WD AGO Form 53-98 from the United States Army
  • WD AGO Form 755 from the United States Army
  • Verification of Service Letter from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs
  • DD Form 2 Military Retired ID Card
  • 100% Disabled Veteran Card or Letter

Tax Benefit

Prior to claiming any Tax Benefits, individuals are urged to review the current Idaho Tax Code. Tax benefits are based upon specific criterion, & each individual should review their particular situation.)

Tax Benefits for Veterans are primarily tied to income, & all retirement income is taxable prior to age 65. Disability Income is not taxed.

Property Tax Reductions & Exemptions

Property Tax Reduction (Circuit Breaker)

Veterans with a 10-percent or greater service-connected disability – or receiving a pension from Veterans Affairs (VA) for a non-service-connected disability – can qualify for the Circuit Breaker when they meet residency and income requirements.  See the Idaho Property Tax Reduction brochure on the Idaho State Tax Commission website.

Veterans Property Tax Reduction

Effective July 1, 2018, Veterans with a 100-percent service-connected disability may apply to reduce their property taxes by as much as $1,320. For more information and how to apply for this benefit see the 100% SERVICE-CONNECTED DISABLED VETERANS PROPERTY TAX BENEFIT brochure on the Idaho State Tax Commission website.

State Income Tax Exemption

When stationed outside the State of Idaho, active duty personnel are exempt from Idaho state income tax.

State Income Tax Retired Military Pay Benefit Deduction

A veteran or their un-remarried widow, age 65 or older, or disabled and age 62 or older, receiving veteran’s retirement benefits, may deduct those benefits.  The deductible amount of retirement benefits must be reduced by retirement benefits paid under the Federal Social Security Act or the Tier 1 Federal Railroad Retirement Act. See the Individual Income Tax Instructions for the maximum amount deductible for a particular year. 

Grocery Tax Credit

Veterans age 65 or older, or disabled and age 62 or older, may claim the Grocery Tax Credit even when not required to file an income tax return if VA disability benefits are the veteran’s only income.  See Income Tax Rule 771.  

Idaho State Veterans Homes

There are three (3) Skilled Nursing Facilities in Idaho for Veterans, all of which are Medicare and Medicaid certified. Honorably discharged Veterans and their spouses (who require skilled nursing care) are eligible for admission to the nursing homes. Spouses are not eligible for admission to the residential/domiciliary unit at the Boise home. There are limits to the number of spouses that can be residing in a home at any given time.

The Idaho State Veterans Home – Boise offers a 131 bed skilled nursing unit, 36 bed residential unit, and a special care unit.

The Idaho State Veterans Homes in Lewiston and Pocatello are both 66 bed skilled nursing facilities.

Financial Assistance

Provides up to a $1,000 grant, in cases of extreme emergency, to wartime Veterans in need of assistance. Must have entered the military from Idaho, or lived within the state for at least 5 years. The event or emergency must have occurred within 90 days of the request.

For assistance contact Office of Veterans Advocacy at 208-780-1380.

Park Admission Fees

Idaho resident veterans who are 100% disabled with 100% service-related disabilities receive a free campsite while camping within Idaho’s State Parks and free day-use access. Website:  Passes, Fees, and Regulations

Reduced Hunting & Fishing License Fees

Resident Disabled American Veterans – Reduced Fees

Resident disabled American veterans may be eligible for DAV reduced fees for licenses and tags. The DAV license, $5, allows the disabled veteran to purchase reduced fee Disabled American Veteran tags for deer $10.75, elk $16.50, bear $6.75, or turkey $10.75. They must submit a letter from the Veterans Affairs office verifying a service-connected disability rating of 40 percent or greater. Letters can be brought to any regional office or mailed to the address below. Such documentation may bear any date prior to license application. Documentation for the resident DAV license will be required only for the initial application and will not be required for subsequent applications.

Nonresident Disabled Veterans – Reduced Fees (effective May 16, 2014)

Nonresident disabled American veterans with a disability rating of 40 percent or more by Veterans Affairs are eligible for nonresident DAV reduced fees for licenses and tags. 

Individuals meeting the DAV requirements must submit a letter from the Veterans Affairs office verifying a service-connected disability rating of 40 percent or greater. Letters can be brought to any regional office or mailed to the address below. Such documentation may bear any date prior to license application. Documentation for the nonresident DAV license will be required only for the initial application and will not be required for subsequent applications.

The nonresident DAV hunting with 3-day fishing license, $31.75, allows the nonresident disabled veteran to purchase reduced fee nonresident Disabled American Veteran tags for deer $23.75, elk $39.75, bear $23.75, or turkey $19.75.  Website:  Idaho Fish and Game.  Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game – Licensing Section, P.O. Box 25, Boise, ID 83707

Disabled Veterans Special Big Game Tag Program

The Disabled Veterans Special Big Game Tag Program allows a qualified organization to apply for a special big game hunt tag on behalf of a disabled veteran. A qualified organization is defined as a 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) or 501(c)(19) nonprofit organization, or a government agency, with a mission to afford opportunities, experiences and assistance to disabled veterans. The program is not limited to organizations in Idaho.

New law and rules are in place for these tags. Idaho Fish and Game makes five tags available each year. Tags are eligible for any hunt for deer, elk, pronghorn, moose, black bear or mountain lion except controlled hunts with less than 5 tags are not eligible. Participants are exempt from licensing requirements and the tag is free. The tag is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

The application period is January 2 through January 31 of the calendar year of the hunt. Each year, the Idaho Division of Veterans Services will first screen all applicants and provide a list of screened applicants to Idaho Department of Fish and Game in priority order of issuance. The top two candidates sponsored by Idaho Divisions of Veterans Services will receive a tag and Fish and Game will issue the three remaining tags to candidates sponsored by other qualified organizations. There is no limitation to how many applicants a qualified organization may sponsor each year. The application, at the link below, must be used to apply. Send your application to the address or email address listed on the form at the link below.

ver: 3.0.0a | last updated: