How to Get a Veterans Identification Card
Many veterans would like to have some type of standard identification card which verifies their military history and is less cumbersome than carrying around their discharge paperwork. Unfortunately, the federal government does not provide veteran ID cards to every person who served, except in certain circumstances.
If you are looking for a way to easily verify your veteran status, check out these ways to get a veterans ID card:
Department of Veterans Affairs ID Card
Many veterans are eligible for a Veteran Health Identification Card from the VA. If you are eligible to access VA health care, then you can receive this card. If you have a disability, served in combat or a war zone, had a medical condition which occurred during your service, or have any of the many other qualifying characteristics, then getting a VA ID card may be as easy as submitting an annual application and getting an occasional checkup.
Retired Veterans with 20 Years of Service
If you retired from military service after 20 years, and were honorably discharged, the Department of Defense will issue you a military retiree card. In order to get a retiree card, you must complete a DD Form 1172-2, and then visit a Real-Time Automated Personnel Identification System (RAPIDS) site for final verification and processing. Remember to bring your completed DD Form and two other forms of identification.
Special Circumstances Veterans
Some veterans are eligible for ID cards from the Department of Defense even if they are not retired. For example, Medal of Honor recipients, veterans who are 100% disabled, directors of USO operations, and a few others are eligible for a uniformed services identification card. For a full list, click here.
State Driver License Designations
Many states have opted to create a veterans designation on a drivers license or state-issued ID card. This type of designation is usually accepted by both government agencies and businesses as proof of your veteran status. Check with your local DMV before you make an appointment to see what types of designations are available and what documentation you will need to apply.
State Veteran ID Cards
Some states, like Virginia, offer a separate Veteran ID card rather than a driver license designation. These cards can usually still be obtained through your local DMV.
County-Issued ID Cards
Large counties like those in New York and New Jersey offer county-specific ID cards. If you live in a large metropolitan area, your county clerk or courthouse should be able to tell you if they offer these services. While these cards will most likely not be accepted by government agencies, they are usually sufficient proof of your veteran status for businesses and other organizations.
Service Organization Cards
Organizations like the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion offer ID cards to their members. While these are not official, government-issued cards, they are often sufficient for many businesses to accept as proof of military service.
Veterans of the armed services are entitled to many benefits. Make sure you are receiving what you are entitled to, and ask for help if you need assistance. At Vets National Advocates, we work with soldiers whose disability, pension, and other benefits have been denied, and will fight to make sure that you get the help you need.
Call 877-777-4021 or use our case evaluation form to schedule your free consultation today.