The VA Veteran ID card (VIC) is available for registration of digital ID and printable ID cards. If your request is approved, you can expect to receive your VIC in the mail within 14 business days. The envelope will contain 2 printed Veteran ID cards.
How to Apply for a VA Veteran ID Card
The are two ways to apply, through Vets.gov and AccessVA.
Find step by step instructions on how to apply for both here.
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.
VA ID cards will mail the cards directly to veterans.
About the VIC
The veterans id cards allows veterans to verify 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 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. 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
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.
- Department of Defense guidance on Liberal Consideration
- For discharge upgrades, if the discharge was less than 15 years ago, the veteran should complete DD Form 293.
- For discharges over 15 years ago, the veteran should complete the DD Form 149.