VA Announces Rollout and Application Process for New Veterans ID Card
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that the application process for the national Veterans Identification Card (VIC) is now available for veterans, an action overdue since 2015 and still causing controversy among some veterans organizations over the implementation of the character of service requirement (unlike the VA, the law excludes practically no one who has served). Currently only those veterans with honorable service will be able to apply for the ID card. However, this is a change from previous statements by others because it means those who have a general discharge (under honorable conditions) can now also apply, in addition to those with honorable discharges/releases.
The card can be used as proof of military service. Apparently its main benefit is that it may be accepted by retailers in lieu of the standard DD-214 form to obtain promotional discounts and other services where offered to veterans. Having it, does not entitle one to either military or veterans benefits. As the VA Secretary Shulkin stated, “The new Veterans Identification Card provides a safer and more convenient and efficient way for most Veterans to show proof of service. With the card, Veterans with honorable service to our nation will no longer need to carry around their paper DD-214s to obtain Veteran discounts and other services.” In VA staff language, “The VIC card provides a more portable and secure alternative for those who served the minimum obligated time in service, but did not meet the retirement or medical discharge threshold. Veterans who served in the armed forces, including the reserve components, … [with the correct discharge] can request a VIC.”
To request a VIC, veterans must use the vets.gov website hyperlink found at the bottom of the page: “Apply for Printed Veteran ID Card”. It will require one to sign in or create an account. Veterans who apply for a card should receive it within 60 days and can check delivery status of their cards at vets.gov. A digital version of the VIC will be available online by mid-December — the era of the smartphone has arrived in the VA.
[Editor’s Note: If you are a military retiree or 100% service-connected, disabled veteran with a Department of Defense identity card or a veteran with a Veterans Health Identification Card (VHIC), you do not need this new card.]
As of 29 November 2017