VA Opens Applications For Standardized Veteran ID Card

The veterans group AMVETS distributed this early prototype of the VA’s new veterans ID card in October. The VA has not released a final design, and it’s not clear if the Office Depot logo will appear on the final card.

It might seem a bit surprising – but there is no standardized Identification Card for veterans. Military retirees with 20 years or more service have their own ID card. And veterans who use VA health services have another. But there was no ID card for all veterans – until now.

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan (FL-R) of Sarasota sponsored the 2015 law that created the Veterans Identification Card to make it easier to officially prove one’s military service. But after more than two years, the VA only just opened the application process this week.

“In my mind and my experience, I think it’s unacceptable that it’s taken two years to do this,” said Carl Hunsinger, chairman of the Manatee Veterans Council and a retired Air Force Retired command chief master sergeant.

Several years ago, Hunsinger saw the need for a standardized veteran ID card after watching a homeless vet pull out his tattered discharge form (DD-214) to prove he qualified for services.

“This sheet of paper cannot only become illegible over a period of time and damaged but also can be easily forged,” Hunsinger said.

So, he took the problem and some suggested solutions to his congressman, Buchanan. It took about a year to pass the law that was signed by President Obama in July 2015.

Late Wednesday afternoon, the VA announced it was officially accepting applications for the Veteran Identification Card. But according to the Military Times, the final design of the ID has not been decided and it could take up to two months before delivery.

Veterans can apply for the ID card online go to the bottom of the page and look for Apply for Printed Veteran ID Card.

The new standardized card, however, will not be accepted as proof for VA disability and medical benefits and there’s no guarantee that businesses will accept it as proof for veteran discounts.


3 Responses

  1. Nice idea, but no cigar. Site would not accept photo uploaded from computer. Then rejected photo 1 from camera on phone. Finally accepted photo 2. Then told me the site was under maintenance and could not accept my input. So repeated the process, finally got in after two text messages with secret code numbers, and entered all the data it requested. I was then advised there is no record of my service so call the HELP line. I think not. 25 years of naval service and a retiree ID card will do. Now I believe all the bad stuff I have been hearing about the VA.

    • Thank you for your quick feedback. I will contact the VA and share your experience as well as pass it along to Congressman Buchanan’s office. And I plan to follow through until the site is operational. Glad that you at least have availability of your retired military ID. Bobbie O’Brien

      • Thank you so much, Ms. O’Brien. There are thousands of vets who will be able to take advantage of the card when they sort it out. Kind of like the original Affordable Care Act website that was not ready for prime time when it opened. Guess they never heard of beta testing.

        Steve Lanoux, Ph.D., CDR, USN (Ret)

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