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Veterans, Military and Their Families

 

Veterans Can Now Apply for VA Photo ID Cards

Cards let veterans show proof of service without exposing private information

New VA Card

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The card provides a way to show proof of military service without exposing personal information.

Update: The VA has temporarily halted the online application process for the new VA ID cards after the website crashed due to high demand. While the VA works on fixing the problem, veterans are being instructed to submit their email addresses to receive an update when the application is restored.

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The application for the new national Veterans Identification Card is now available online, making it easier for former members of the military to take advantage of discounts and other benefits.

The card, offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs, is available at no cost to veterans with honorable military service, including those who served in the reserves.

“The new Veterans Identification Card provides a safer and more convenient and efficient way for most veterans to show proof of service,” VA Secretary David J. Shulkin said in a news release.

Before this ID was created, veterans who wanted discounts at restaurants, stores and other businesses often had to present discharge papers, called DD Form 214, that include personal information such as birth dates and Social Security numbers. Congress passed a law in 2015 calling for the creation of the card as a way to show proof of military service without exposing such personal information.

The card will include the veteran’s photo, name and an identification number that is not a Social Security number.

“It's great that this process has finally launched. The idea of carrying valuable papers ... around is ridiculous and elementary,” said Miles Migliara, publications editor at the service organization Amvets (American Veterans). “The cards are a great idea, a modernized way of being a veteran. It's also great that they were able to do this at no cost to the veteran.”

To apply for the card, veterans can sign in or create an account at vets.gov then click on “Apply for Printed Veteran ID Card.” The card should be delivered within 60 days.

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