November 19, 2017

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New Vet ID Cards Still Expected This Month

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Honorably discharged veterans of all eras should still be able to apply this month to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for a new ID card, agency officials said Tuesday.

“VA is on track to launch the Veteran ID card program nationally this month,” Curtis Cashour, a VA spokesman, told Military.com.

How long veterans will have to wait between application and receiving their card and what the card will look like is still under discussion, Cashour said.

“The design of the card and turnaround time are still being finalized,” he said.

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The ID cards are meant to offer a way for veterans to prove their service without carrying a copy of their DD-214 form, which contains sensitive personal information, such as veterans’ Social Security numbers. The new IDs will not, however, qualify as official government-issued identification for air travel or other uses. The ID card program is voluntary.

The VA was ordered to provide the cards in a law passed by Congress in 2015. Some veterans, such as those who receive health benefits from the VA and military retirees, already have IDs that can provide proof of service.

VA officials have in the past said the cards will be free. Veterans will apply through the VA’s website, Vets.gov, using the ID.me verification system or a DS Logon. From there, they will be able to upload a photo and request a card.

An early prototype of the card provided to the veteran service organization AMVETS by the VA shows the VA logo on the front and an Office Depot logo and advertising message on the back.

VA officials told Task & Purpose last month that Office Depot is printing and providing the cards to veterans for the VA free of charge, but a spokesperson with Office Depot was not aware of the arrangement, according to Task & Purpose.

— Amy Bushatz can be reached at amy.bushatz@military.com.

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