Veteran ID Cards: What your options are now and in the future


Editor’s note:  Please see this clarification on accessing your proof of service letter through eBenefits.

On July 20, 2015, the president signed into law the Veterans Identification Card Act of 2015. This act allows Veterans to apply for an identification card directly from VA.  The VA identification card will allow Veterans to demonstrate proof of service for discounts at private restaurants and businesses.

Veterans Health ID CardIt should be noted that the identification card is different from a Veteran Health Identification card or a DoD Uniformed Services or retiree ID card. As such, the VA identification cards cannot be used as proof of eligibility to any federal benefits and does not grant access to military installations.

When available, Veterans will be able to request an ID card from VA for a fee. VA is currently making plans to implement the new law in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible while protecting Veterans’ personal information. We estimate that VA will be able implement the program in 2017. The cost of each card has not yet been determined.

In the meantime, Veterans who would like an identification card that displays their military service do not have to wait until VA implements the new law. You have several options:

  • You can access and print a free Veterans identification proof of service letter through the joint VA/DoD web portal, eBenefits. This serves as proof of honorable service in the Uniformed Services, as defined in laws about the Department of Defense (DoD).  Veterans can get a free eBenefits account by going to
  • Your driver’s license or state identification card can carry a Veteran designation. This option is currently available in 49 states, along with Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. We expect the 50th state, Washington, to offer this service in August 2017. Veterans wanting more information should contact their state department of motor vehicles or state department of Veterans affairs at
  • Veterans who are enrolled in VA health care can obtain a free Veterans Health Identification Card (VHIC). For more information, please go to
  • Veterans who have retired from military service can receive an identification card from DoD. For information on obtaining or renewing such a card, please contact your nearest DoD identification card facility. You can find the location of these facilities through this link:

This article was submitted to Vantage Point by the Veterans Benefits Administration.


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  1. Luis Arevalo    

    i went to ebenfits and in the search i typed Veterans Identification Card and results concerning business and printing brochures. can you provide the correct link or search words to print this I.D. thank you.

    1. Ken Rathe    

      I am a 40% disabled Vietnam Vet (Agent Orange). I received my ID card last year without having to request it. I also received a “Veterans Choice” card without a request. I am very pleased with Veterans Affairs. I pray that more vets are able to receive the healthcare they deserve and are able to accomplish this without much red tape.

      1. Alan Greenberg    

        I was issued the veterans choice card also. When I had a (Chronic) earache I called the VA and they told me to go to the nearest hospital in my area, so I went to the Hospital, showed my Veterans Choice card & my VA card, then they treated me. A month later I received a bill for $250.00! When I called the VA and told them I was charged (Even though I was told by the VA to go to a private hospital), the person said I needed the OK to go, “IN WRITING!”
        The woman that told me to go never told me I needed something in writing from the VA!
        Is that the way the VA treats it’s Veterans, I am 70% disabled and on Medicare… I can’t afford this!
        I hate our government and ashamed of my country… I should have opted for Canada, back in the 60’s!

    2. Tim Kennedy    

      Had a heart attack. Tried using “Veterans Choice”. Waited two weeks and had to call them to find out it is faster if I make my own appointment for cardio rehab. Could have been another dead vet!!

    3. Raymond    

      Its there under download letters at the bottom. / says veteran proof of service. Manage tab. documents and records block tab. VA letters Tab. At the bottom Veteran proof of service. it becomes a letter you can print and cut a card from.

  2. Stephan Decota Evans    

    I have been waiting for my ID for over 3 years and still no card I am tired of going to the VA in person to get a card and they keep telling me its in the mail.

  3. Rob C    

    I can’t find this at all on the eBenefits site: “You can access and print a free Veterans identification card through the joint VA/DoD web portal, eBenefits.”

    1. William Harrison    

      It’s not there. Won’t be until 2017 sometime. This is spelled out in the artical.

      1. Dave Duskin    

        Actually, the article states that if you do not want to wait:

        In the meantime, Veterans who would like an identification card that displays their military service do not have to wait until VA implements the new law. You have several options:

        You can access and print a free Veterans identification card through the joint VA/DoD web portal, eBenefits. This paper identification card serves as proof of honorable service in the Uniformed Services, as defined in laws about the Department of Defense (DoD). Veterans can get a free eBenefits account by going to

      2. Robert Foster Jr    

        Actually, what is spelled out in the article says that those who don’t want to wait until 2017, can go to the ebenefits site and print out a free Veterans identification card.

  4. Scott Jewell    

    I didn’t retire from the military, but I was part of that early out option a few years ago. Because they had more soldiers than they did jobs. Can’t see why I wouldn’t be eligible for a DOD ID card

    1. Fred Barbosa    

      I think you have to be service connected to be eligible.

  5. William Henry Frierson    

    The VA identification cards are unnecessary the medical record can be put on existing VA cards. these new card is a waste of money, The money paid for the does benefit veterans it goes into pockets of wealthy political contributors.

    1. Robert Foster Jr    

      As stated in the article, this card is not for people who are already receiving VA benefits. This is a “proof of honorable service” for those veterans who served, but did not retire.

  6. Alice Fae Manning    

    I am a widow of a 100% disabled Viet Nam War Veteran. Married 49 years. Complete new claim had to be done for DIC. Delayed 2 months after filing, with letter to husband’s estate questioning if we were married at time of his death. If I die before DIC claim is processed, my estate can continue the claim.

  7. Phil Radziwon    

    I am having the same problem. Can’t find the site for a temp ID card. Where is it and how does it work????? It’s sad we service our country during Vietnam and can’t get an ID card. Sad government won’t help vets.

    1. ken rypka    

      The government is there to HELP vvets.The vet has to do his/her part in the process and get over the idea that it all comes with no effort on our part. AIRBORNE

      1. Tammy Elam    

        Go to your local VA they would look in to it for you, I’m lucky enough to have it before my husband ( Vietnam Veteran) he past, but lost his disable benefit of 40% and in process for Agent Orange when he past, on my second appeals now, good luck to you Alice Fae Manning.

  8. Kenneth Raymond Jones    

    Service with pride ( Jones, Kenneth R. 1967 326th Engineers 101st Airborne )

  9. Harold Woltag    

    I.would like to receive a VA identify card. Will they have it in newington Ct. Soon? Thanks

  10. Earl P. Farmer    

    I had never had a VA card even though I have a military disability. Recently I went to the Bay Pines Florida VA to get my VA card, they did all the necessary forms, took my photo and within two weeks I had the new VA identification card.
    The staff was very helpful and polite.

  11. Robert Foster Jr    

    I am an unemployed, 30% service connected disabled, Dessert Storm Veteran of the Marine Corps. When will we be granted access to bases for Commissary and PX use?

    1. jas edward    

      you have to be 100% to get access to bases/commissary or PX.

  12. PD Dennis    

    I was told at Lowes that they no longer honor these card. VA Medical only. Hello Home Depot!!!

  13. Ronald Dockery    

    I don’t understand why other veterans seem to have difficulty obtaining a VA health care ID card. While visiting the Evansville, IN VA Clinic, all I had to do was walk into the office where the cards were processed and one was made while I waited. It took less than 5 minutes to obtain my VA health care ID card.

  14. Jim M    

    Some of you VN Vets that have gone to the VA for over 20 years like me–Please answer this question. Does your Doc. put down your problems caused by service connected? If it is! Heck my Doc. does not want to discuss anything with me. I ask him a question-He either goes to another subject or just gets up and leaves. That is the ones that can speak English anyway. Every time I go the paper work asks service connected? They never put Y or N. For the Docs. That is Yes or No. From what I read if you are 100% you can be down graded to a lower % because of improved health. Is this the big trick they have been waiting to drop on our heads? I have never had a General Doc. ask me if I was in a combat zone where they sprayed Agent Orange. VN 68-69 25th Inf.–Yes Agent Orange–Korea 69-70 2nd Inf. Last post before you hit the DMZ. Yes sprayed Agent Orange. The health card will be great as soon as the VA gets the health part ironed out.

  15. Sharon Alvey    

    My husband is a retired vietnam vet who 5 years ago became unable to work due to his disability. Got his card thru the veterans services at the Tennessee hospital in Johnson city. Have had a lot of good help there. and I was able to receive my card when he became 100% disabled. They have been a tremendous help to us ever since. Thank you VA.

  16. D C Andress    

    No where on the site do I find the link to print a veterans ID card. I am not VA medical, and would like a wallet sized ID card as proof I served.

  17. Charles E Smith    

    I’m dumbfounded…. After the last couple of years you would think VA would have gotten better….Its a shame it hasent in any department….. From my standpoint and situation it dam sure hasn’t improved at all……Its a shame,……

  18. Wendy Nevarez    

    Why can’t we skip making another id? Put a Veteran identification on driver’s licenses or state ids. If there is a fee anyway then do it this way. Veterans should not have to pay for this, paid in other ways already. Also this would help states track their veterans and hopefully verify the need for housing for homeless Veterans.

    1. DannyG    

      I paid $10. for the state of Az to put “veteran” in blue letters on my license! DUMMY!

  19. Thomas Boutilier    

    Yes we get it, when the system works it works fine. It is all of the breakdowns in the process that they are being judged on. The fact that they are hiring more people in P.R. positions than healthcare positions speaks volumes to me.

  20. Rafael Rosa    

    60 percent ,service connected why I can’t enter px or comm.

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