Newly issued identification cards take the place of Form DD-214 as proof of service.
As of Friday, December 8, 2017
The long-awaited Veterans ID Card is finally available as an alternative proof of military service.
“The new identification is something that veterans have been asking about for many years,” said Wasco County Veterans’ Service Officer Russell Jones.
“Many businesses and restaurants have discounts or other promotions for veterans and the card will allow people to prove their veteran status without having to carry important documents like their DD-214.”
Not only is a DD-214 oversized to carry around, he said, but it contains personal information about the veteran, such as a Social Security number and birth date, that should be kept secure.
Prior to the issuance of the new card, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs only provided identification cards for current servicemembers, retirees and certain veterans with a 100 percent disability rating.
Jones said veterans do not need to request the new card if they already have a Veterans Health Identification Card, Department of Defense Identification Card or a Uniformed Services ID Card.
Many veterans not eligible for those cards had a difficult time proving their military service, which led Congress to act two years ago.
The new card was unanimously approved in both the House and Senate and signed into law by former President Barack Obama.
The VA has announced there is no anticipated cost for the new card, even though the agency is authorized to charge a fee.
To obtain the new card, Jones said veterans will need government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's license, and a photo of themselves from the shoulders up.
The application for the card can be found at www.vets.gov/veterans-id-card.