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Veterans, Military and Their Families


New Photo ID Cards Will Help Veterans

The cards will make it easier for them to get discounts at stores and other businesses

Photo IDs for veterans

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

New ID cards for veterans will make it easier for former military members to prove they served.

Veterans will soon find it easier to get discounts at stores, restaurants, hotels, amusement parks and many other places.

Starting in November, the Veterans Affairs department will issue a photo ID card to any veteran who has been honorably discharged and applies for the card, a VA spokesperson said.

The cards will allow veterans to prove they have served in the military without the hassle of carrying around their discharge papers and the risk of divulging sensitive personal information to merchants.

In 2015, Congress passed the Veterans Identification Card Act, which directed the VA to issue ID cards with names, photos and an identification number other than the Social Security number. The law noted that “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.”

Because the military-discharge form contains personal information such as an individual's Social Security number and birth date, carrying it around can pose a risk of ID theft and fraud.

The law allowed the VA to charge veterans a fee for the card, but a VA spokesperson said the cards will be available for free.

When the program is launched nationally in November, veterans will be able to apply for the card through the VA’s website.

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