Veterans Identification Card Act of 2015: What is it and how does it affect me?

The Veterans Identification Act of 2015 became a law on July 20th, 2015. The law states that new health identification cards will be issued to veterans. The cards will be available in 2017 and will cost a fee. The purpose of the Act is to simplify the check-in and identification process at VA health appointments, according to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.  

It is not a credit card or an insurance card, and it does not authorize or pay for care at non-VA facilities.  Due to the ongoing concern of security, the new card does not contain personal identifying information on the card’s face, such as, date of birth, and social security numbers. The new card replaces the need of veterans to carry their DD-214 discharge papers with them. 

Summary of the Act

The Act itself specifically describes the following:

Previous cards were issued to veterans who completed the time requirement for retirement or who were medical-related discharged.  If that criteria was not met, there was no way to identify veterans, other than with the DD-214 form.  Because of the impracticality of carrying the DD-214 form to identify the veteran’s status, this card was created so as to provide a useful way for veterans to identify themselves so they can participate in promotion sales and discounts of goods and services provided by public and private institutions offered specifically to veterans.   

The Secretary of Veteran Affairs issues these cards to Veterans who request the card, present their DD-214, or other official military document from the veteran’s official military personnel file and pay a fee.  

The card will display: a picture of the veteran, the name of the veteran, an identification number, which is not the veteran’s social security number, and serve as proof that the veteran served in the military and has a DD-214 or other official military document that describes the veteran’s service in the military.   

The purpose of the fee is to cover the costs associated with equipment and personnel required to carry out the issuance of the card, and may include the cost of replacement cards.  

The card does not serve as any proof of benefits of the veteran, and any veteran issued a card is not necessarily entitled to any benefits because of having a card.  

Veterans Identification Card additional Information

If a veteran has an old identification card it should be destroyed by either cutting it up or shredding it.  

If the card is lost or stolen, the veteran should go to the VA medical facility where the picture was taken to request a new card to be reissued or call 1-800-222-vets (8387). 

Secondary Option for Arizona Residents

Another option for Veterans in the state of Arizona seeking some form of identifying credentials for Veteran status is to obtain a “Veteran Designation” on an Arizona issued Driver License, Instructional Permit or Identification Card.  To obtain this designation, veterans are required to fill out an application at any regional Motor Vehicle Department field office or authorized third party that processes driver licenses.  The word “VETERAN” will be printed on the front of the card, in blue lettering.     


This website has been prepared for general information purposes only. The information on this website is not legal advice. Legal advice is dependent upon the specific circumstances of each situation. Also, the law may vary from state-to-state or county-to-county, so that some information in this website may not be correct for your situation. Finally, the information contained on this website is not guaranteed to be up to date. Therefore, the information contained in this website cannot replace the advice of competent legal counsel licensed in your jurisdiction.

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