“Can I see your ID?” is a familiar question for anyone that has served or currently serves in the United States Military. And like most areas of the armed forces, there can be much confusion about the rules and process of obtaining a valid military identification card based on your status.
A Department of Defense (DoD) Identification Card is used to show your military status and get access to military base services. You may also use this card to get discounts offered to Veterans at many stores, businesses, and restaurants.
Let’s start with eligibility, the types of IDs available, and their associated requirements and benefits. Finally, the requirements to get on to base and access to online shopping.
- You may be eligible if you meet both of these requirements: You served on active duty, in the Reserves, or the National Guard (including the Coast Guard) and received an honorable or general discharge (under honorable conditions).
- You’re not eligible for a Veteran ID Card if you received an other than honorable, bad conduct, or dishonorable character of discharge.
There are two types of veteran cards:
- A Veteran ID Card (VIC) is a form of photo ID you can use to get discounts offered to Veterans at many restaurants, hotels, stores, and other businesses.
- A Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC) allows you to check in to your appointments at VA medical centers. The VHIC has the same benefits as the VIC.
How to request an ID Card:
The best and fastest way to request an ID card is to Sign in with your existing Login.gov, ID.me, DS Logon, or My HealtheVet account. If you don’t have any of these accounts, you can create a free Login.gov or ID.me account.
We have found that ID.me is the best solution for verifying your military service. You will need to provide certain information for verification:
- Your Social Security number
- A digital copy of your DD214, DD256, DD257, or NGB22 that you can upload,
- A copy of a current and valid government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license, passport, or state-issued identification card,
- A digital color photo of yourself from the shoulders up.
How to gain access to base:
Only with a VHIC can the veteran get access to the base. A veteran must take their VHIC and a valid state ID, driver’s license, or passport to an installation Pass and ID office.
Here are a few resources for online shopping and discounts for veterans:
On-base Commissary: Open to veterans with a VA Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC)
- Army and Air Force Exchange: ShopMyExchange.com
- Marine Corps Exchange: MyMCX.com
- Navy Exchange: MyNavyExchange.com
- Coast Guard Exchange: ShopCGX.com
ShopVCS.com – For Vets, their families & employees
For more information, visit, MilitaryOneSource.mil.