Military & Veteran Applicants

Veterans’ Preference

Important changes have been made to the Veterans’ Preference Credit process administered by the State of California, via Assembly Bill (AB) 372 that went into effect January 1, 2014.

Veterans’ Preference can be applied to a veteran’s eligibility for qualifying open and open, non-promotional examinations. To determine if the exam being administered qualifies for Veterans’ Preference, please review the examination bulletin. Veterans’ Preference will be awarded as follows, starting on January 1, 2014:

  • Any veteran, widow or widower of a veteran, or spouse of a 100 percent disabled veteran, who achieves a passing score in an entrance examination, shall be ranked in the top rank of the resulting eligibility list.
  • Any veteran who has been dishonorably discharged or released is not eligible for Veterans’ Preference.
  • An entrance examination is defined, under the law, as any open competitive examination.
  • Veterans’ Preference is not granted once a person achieves permanent civil service status.

How do I apply for Veterans’ Preference?

To apply for Veterans’ Preference, the following must be submitted:

  • Legible copy of DD214. DD Form 214 Report of Separation is generally issued when a service member performs active duty or at least 90 consecutive days of active duty training. Request your DD214
  •  Veteran’s Preference Application Form (CalHR 1093) NOTE: If you are applying for Veterans’ Preference as a spouse, widow or widower of a Veteran, additional documentation is required. Please review the specific requirements on the Instructions section of the CalHR 1093.

Submit copies of the completed CalHR 1093 Form and DD214 to:

California Department of Human Resources
ATTN: Examination Unit
1515 S Street
Sacramento, CA 95811

Once CalHR has approved your application for Veterans’ Preference,
your information will remain on file for all future qualifying examinations.

For your Veteran’s Preference to apply for this exam, a copy of the CalHR approval letter must be sent to OPOS via mail or email to one of the addresses below:

Office of Peace Officer Selection
ATTN: Testing Unit
1000 Goethe Road, Suite B
Sacramento, CA 95827


How Veterans’ Preference is applied to Open Eligibility Lists

If you are currently competing in a State civil service examination for which Veterans’ Preference will be granted, you will automatically be added to the top rank, provided your application for Veterans’ Preference is approved before the eligible record is created. If you were previously successful in a State civil service exam for which Veterans’ Preference was granted, you must provide a copy of your approval letter to the testing office that administered the examination in order to request that your preference be applied.

Veterans may participate in Promotional Examinations

Persons retired from the United States military or honorably discharged from active duty shall be eligible to compete in promotional examinations, including examinations for Career Executive Assignments (CEA), for which they meet the minimum qualifications as prescribed by the class specification. Persons receiving passing scores shall have their names placed on the promotional eligibility lists resulting from these examinations. In evaluating minimum qualifications, related military experience shall be considered State civil service experience in a class deemed comparable by CalHR, based on the duties and responsibilities assigned (Section 18991).

For cases in which promotional examinations are given by more than one department for the same classification, the veteran shall select one department for which to compete. Once this selection is made, it cannot be changed for the duration of the promotional list eligibility established from the examination in which the veteran participated. Employees may request a transfer of list eligibility between departments in the same manner as provided for civil service employees (Section 18991).

Veterans who are Current/Former Employees

Individuals receiving Veterans’ Preference are not eligible for Career Credits pursuant to Sections 18950.1, 18951, and 18951.5. Veterans who achieve permanent civil service status with the State are not eligible to receive Veterans’ Preference pursuant to Section 18973.5.

Permanent civil service status is the status of an employee who is lawfully retained in his/her position after completion of the applicable probationary period. This includes permanent intermittent, part-time, and full-time appointments. In addition, individuals who at any time achieved permanent civil service status and subsequently resigned or were dismissed from State Civil Service are not eligible to receive Veterans’ Preference pursuant to Section 18973.5.

For further questions regarding Veterans’ Preference:

If you have other questions regarding the Veterans’ Preference or need assistance with the online Peace Officer Application and Scheduling System (PASS) or general application process, please contact the Customer Service Unit for the Office of Peace Officer Selection.

Related Veterans’ Resources

CalVet provides resources to California veterans and the organizations and individuals who assist them.

The Employment Development Department (EDD) assists veterans and their eligible spouses maximize their employment and training opportunities. Veterans are entitled to many resources designed to help in their search for employment.
View the fact sheet