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Veterans Health Identification Card

New Veteran Health ID Card

The new Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC) provides:

  • Increased security for your personal information - no personally identifiable information is contained on the magnetic stripe or barcode.
  • Unique Member Identifier -- Department of Defense assigns an electronic data interchange personal identifier (EDIPI) that allows VA to retrieve the Veteran’s health record.
  • A salute to your military service – The emblem of your latest branch of service is displayed on your card. Several special awards will also be listed.
  • Accessibility – Braille “VA” helps visually impaired Veterans to recognize and use the card
  • Anti-Counterfeiting – Microtext helps thwart reproductions

The VHIC is issued only to Veterans who are enrolled in the VA health care system.

Purpose of the VHIC

The VHIC is for identification and check-in at VA appointments. It cannot be used as a credit card or an insurance card, and it does not authorize or pay for care at non-VA facilities.

Getting the New Card is Easy!

In February 2014, VA began issuing the VHIC to newly enrolled Veterans and enrolled Veterans who were not previously issued the old VIC but requested an identification card.  VA will automatically mail the new VHIC to enrolled Veterans who were previously issued the old VIC; there is no action required by these Veterans in order to receive the new VHIC.   Enrolled Veterans who were not issued the old VIC may contact their local VA medical center Enrollment Coordinator to arrange to have their picture taken for the new VHIC, or they may request a new VHIC at their next VA health care appointment.

VA expects to complete mailing of the replacement VHICs by Winter 2014. Because we will be reissuing more than 6 million VHICs, we ask for your patience during this time.

Important!! Veterans who are already enrolled should ensure the address VA has on file is correct so you can receive your VHIC in a timely manner. To update or to confirm your address with us, please call 1-877-222-VETS (8387). If the post office cannot deliver your VHIC, the card will be returned to the VA.

How to Receive a VHIC

To receive a VHIC, you must be enrolled.  If you are not enrolled, you may apply for enrollment online at www.va.gov/healthbenefits/enroll or by calling 1-877-222-VETS (8387). You may also apply for enrollment in person at your local VA medical facility. Once your enrollment is verified (you will receive a Veteran Health Benefits Handbook welcoming you to the VA), you may have your picture taken at your local VA medical center, so that a VHIC can be mailed to you.

Increased Security - Two Forms of Identification is Now Needed to Receive a VHIC

In addition to serving as identification for enrolled Veterans when they check in for their VA appointment, VHICs are also being used to access U.S. military bases and in some cases, allows access through U.S. airport security.  As a result, VA wants to assure that VHICs are issued appropriately and to the correct person.  To ensure your identity, VA has strengthened requirements to receive a VHIC. Veterans must provide one form of primary identification and one form of secondary identification when requesting a VHIC. Please see the Acceptable Identification Documents table below.

What to do if you do not receive your VHIC

Once you have your picture taken, you should receive your VHIC within 7 to 10 days. If you have questions about the status of your VHIC, you may call your local VA medical facility where you receive your care or contact us at 1-877-222-VETS (8387).

What to do with your old VIC

VA wants all enrolled Veterans to have the Veteran Health Identification Card, which is more secure and protects their personal information. If you have the previous version of the Veterans Identification Card (VIC), you should destroy your old VIC by cutting it up or shredding it.

What to do if you’re VHIC is lost or stolen

If your VHIC is lost or stolen, you should contact the VA Medical Facility where your picture was taken to request a new card be re-issued, or call us at 1-877-222-VETS (8387). Identifying information will be asked to ensure proper identification of the caller.

Acceptable Identification Documents

The old VICs and VHICs are acceptable forms of primary identification. Note that two forms of ID are now required, which means that the Veteran must have at least one primary and one secondary form of identification in order to receive a VHIC. The chart below lists the additional forms of identification which are acceptable primary and secondary identification.

Primary IdentificationSecondary Identification
Present ONE form of Primary Identification Present ONE form of Secondary Identification
State-Issued Driver's License Social Security Card
U.S. Passport or U.S. Passport Card (unexpired) Original Social Security Card
Foreign passport with Form I-94 or Form I-94A (unexpired) Certification of Birth Abroad Issued by the Department of State (Form FS-545)
U.S. Military card Certification of Report of Birth issued by the Department of State (Form DS-1350)
Military dependent’s ID card Voter’s Registration Card
U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Card Native American Tribal Document
Foreign passport that contains a temporary I-551 stamp U.S. Citizen ID Card (Form I-197)
Permanent Resident Card or Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I- 551) Identification Card for Use of Resident Citizen in the United States (Form I-179)
Employment Authorization Document that contains a photograph (Form I- 766) Employment Authorization document issued by the Department of Homeland Security
  Canadian Driver’s License