As of July 20, 2015, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, “VA”, has been authorized by Congress to issue a Veterans ID Card or “VIC”. The purpose is to provide federal identification for all veterans who have served in the U.S. armed forces, including the reserve components.
Government-issued military ID cards have always been issued to active duty, military retirees, veterans with a 100% disability rating and Medal of Honor recipients. For veterans enrolled in VA Health Care, VA issues the Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC). But, the vast majority of veterans are not provided official military government identification from the VA or Department of Defense.
The VA has announced that the Veteran ID Card will not be considered an official government-issued ID and cannot be used to prove your eligibility for federal benefits. As a result, the VA has not announced any federal benefits that come along with the new card. For instance, unlike official government-issued military IDs, the new Veteran ID Card will not get you onto bases to visit the PX or use the base gyms.
Over two years has passed since the authorization, and the Department of Veterans Affairs finally began accepting applications for the new Veteran ID Card in November 2017. The VA says that there will be no cost for the card, even though the VA is permitted to charge a fee under the new law, and only veterans with an honorable discharge can sign up.
Further, the new Veterans ID Card application site has faced challenges since its launch, which was only open online for 3 days before being shut down due to technical difficulties. According to the site, the VA has been “ working to make the application process more efficient.” Currently the VA allows you to enter your email address to be notified whenever the application process is resumed.
When the site opens again--there is no indication of when that will happen-- the VA estimates that it will take approximately 60 days to receive the Veteran ID Card by mail.
If you want to get an ID card for new service-related benefits and military discounts right away, consider signing up for the VetRewards Card on VeteransAdvantage.com. Veterans Advantage verifies your military service through a secure online process in minutes with its patent-pending military verify technology. You can use your active digital VetRewards Card immediately and will receive your printed VetRewards Card within a few days by First Class mail.
You can use your VetRewards Card, not only to show eligibility for Veterans Day for deals, but also new, exclusive military discounts that are available every day of the year. Your VetRewards Card is nationally-recognized by top retailers and major travel providers, including United Airlines, JetBlue, Hawaiian Airlines, Amtrak, Greyhound, Avis/Budget.CVS/pharmacy, Ford, Apple, Verizon, Office Depot/Office Max, Foot Locker, and thousands of deals from over 150 more top brands and Fortune 500 companies who are benefit underwriters.
You get additional benefits included with your VetRewards Card--a free prescription drug discount plan that can be used alone or as a supplement to an existing health plan, a personal financial planning package (valued at $500) and live VIP Member Support. And, your family members can qualify for their own VetRewards Card too!
You can get up to 4 extra cards personalized for your family at 50% off your already low- cost VetRewards Card subscription, so your family member may redeem discounts wherever they go, and get the same benefits coverage. You will have the opportunity to save thousands annually.
If you’re not a subscriber yet, you may enroll by first joining as a member of the Veterans Advantage Community (its free), and then you will become eligible to subscribe for your own VetRewards Card for as low as $3.30 a month plus get outstanding Travel Protection with $55,000 in insurance coverage and VIP Concierge services for only $20 a year.
Do you want to know more about all the new benefits and discounts you will qualify for when you subscribe? You can explore the Military Discounts Marketplace on VeteransAdvantage.com and discover the hundreds of exclusive discounts you will be eligible for as a Veterans Advantage member who carries the VetRewards Card.