The Veterans Identification Card is an identification card used by eligible veterans at the United States Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) medical facilities.
The Veterans Administration made changes to the Veterans Identification Card in 2015 for the first time in over ten years after Congress ordered the VA to provide free identification cards. Prior to the order, veterans would have to carry their discharge papers that contained private information like Social Security numbers.
The card came with added security features and they feature a personalized emblem of the veteran’s branch of service. Each card has a photo of the veteran, the name of the veteran, two seals, an identification card and a title that says “Choose VA.” There is also a statement on the card that reads “This card serves as proof of service in the Uniformed Services of the United States and does not reflect entitlement to any benefits administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs.”
“The new Veterans Identification Card provides a safer and more convenient and efficient way for most Veterans to show proof of service,” VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin said in a statement. “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.”
There was only one problem with Congress’ new policy on Veterans Identification Cards. Congress didn’t approve any funding for the VA to create or ship the cards. Instead, Office Depot said it would provide the cards without charging the VA.
“Office Depot recognizes the sacrifices that our veterans have made, and its logo represents the company’s support as well as its partnership in print production and delivery of the ID cards,” Curtis Cashour said in a statement. Cashour is a spokesman for the VA. Office Depot will cover the cost of printing and mailing the Veteran ID card until September 2020.”
The VA announced in November that veterans with an honorable discharge from the military could begin the application process for the Veterans Identification Card. However, applicants were faced with setbacks, and the VA couldn’t start accepting applications until the beginning of this year because of a system crash. When the VA introduced its online application system for the Veterans Identification Cards, it immediately began to have issues. Veterans would receive a notice saying that online servers were experiencing a high volume of traffic.
Veteran Identification Cards were originally scheduled to be mailed out in March, but instead applicants barley started receiving their cards in May.
Around 98,270 applications for the card were received by the VA in the first few months after it reopened its application service, and 10,735 people received their card of the 26,034 people who were approved for one.
If you or someone you know wishes to apply for the Veterans Identification Card you can do so by visiting www.vets.gov/?next=%Fveterean-id-card%2F and create an account.. Applications can’t be completed at VA facilities, but Veterans can download and print a version of the card at the VA’s website.