The VA Veteran ID card (VIC) was available for registration but is now on hold due to “high volume of traffic” according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Veterans can submit their email on Vets.gov in order to be notified when it is back online.
To apply for a printed version of the card veterans must register and Vets.gov and then apply for the printed card. It will take about 60 days for the printed version to arrive and vets can monitor their status on vets.gov.
A digital version will be available by mid-December.
The veterans id cards will allow veterans to prove they have served in the military without having to carry around their discharge papers or or providing sensitive personal information to private businesses. Veterans will soon find it easier to get discounts at hotels, restaurants, stores, amusement parks and many other places. According the the Act “Goods, services and promotional activities are often offered by public and private institutions to veterans who demonstrate proof of service in the military, but it is impractical for a veteran to always carry Department of Defense form DD-214 discharge papers to demonstrate such proof,”
Also all states plus Washington DC and Puerto Rico provide a veterans designation option to include on a driver’s license or state identification card. Also, veterans who are enrolled in the VA healthcare system or military retirees have photo ID cards.
Veteran Identification Card Requirements
- Displays a photograph of the veteran
- Displays the name of the veteran
- Explains that such card is not proof of any benefits to which the veteran is entitled to
- Contains an identification number that is not a social security number
- Serves as proof that such veteran:
- Served in the U.S. Armed Forces
- Has a Department of Defense form DD-214 or
- Other official document in the official military personnel file of the veteran that describes the service of the veteran
- The law states a fee can be charged but no fee is planned
How to Apply for a VA Veteran ID Card
Once the VA officially launches this program in November 2017 veterans will need to submit an application on line at Vets.gov. To confirm the veterans identity the application process will require a copy of a valid government photo ID such as a driver’s license or passport plus other information such as a social security number. A third party company contracted by the VA, ID.me will verify the military records at the same time.
Veterans who want one of the new ID cards will need to submit an application online, though VA has yet to announce the specific website address where they can apply. When the VA does start accepting applications sometime in November, applying veterans will need a recent photo to upload, as well as a valid government photo ID and a Social Security number.
More details are anticipated once this program is rolled out.
VA ID cards will mail the cards directly to veterans.
Veterans Identification Card Act
The National Veteran ID card was established through the Veterans Identification Card Act of 2015 and signed into law on July 20, 2015.
“A general purpose veteran identification card made available to veterans would be useful to demonstrate the status of the veterans without having to carry and use official Department of Defense form DD–214 discharge papers.”
Honorable Discharge Veterans Only Eligible for ID Card
For phase one of this program, only honorably discharged veterans and veterans with a general discharge (under honorable conditions) can apply for the ID card. Dishonorably discharged or veterans with “bad paper” will NOT be eligible but this may change in the future. This is a controversial decision as some veteran service organizations feel this leaves many veterans behind including veterans suffering from the effects of traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress disorder, sexual assault, sexual harassment or veterans expelled under ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policies. Especially in earlier eras where honorable conditions like PTSD was not a diagnosable condition (Vietnam, Korea etc.)
For veterans that believe they fall under these circumstances they can apply for a military record review. Recently the Department of Defense has applied ‘liberal consideration’ to allow veterans to receive discharge upgrades under certain circumstances.