Glitches Continue to Dog Department of Veterans Affairs ID Card for Veterans

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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.

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