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Veterans Health Identification Card

New Veteran Health ID Card

The 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 prevent 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.

How to Receive a VHIC

Veterans must be enrolled in the VA health care system to receive a VHIC.  To enroll, effective immediately, Veterans who served in a theater of combat operations after November 11, 1998, can complete applications for enrollment in VA health care by telephone without the need for a signed paper application. All other Veterans may apply by phone starting July 5, 2016. You may also apply for enrollment online at,  call 1-877-222-VETS (8387) Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET., or in person at your local VA medical facility. Once your enrollment is verified, you may have your picture taken at your local VA medical center, so that a VHIC can be mailed to you.

When Veterans choose to enroll, VA offers an enhancement to their enrollment experience through "Welcome to VA" (W2VA).  W2VA enhances communication by reaching out to newly enrolled Veterans through personal phone calls upon enrollment, providing assistance with health care inquiries and assisting with their initial appointment at their preferred VA healthcare facility. In addition, VA sends each new enrollee an introductory letter and personalized Veterans Health Benefits Handbook in the mail.

For more information about the Veterans Health Benefits Handbook, visit

Increased Security - Two Forms of Identification Are 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 a Veteran’s identity, enrollees must provide one form of primary identification and one form of secondary identification when requesting a VHIC. Acceptable forms of primary and secondary identification are listed in the table below.

Primary Identification Secondary Identification
Must present ONE form of Primary Identification And ONE form of Secondary Identification
State-Issued Driver's License Social Security Card
United States (U.S.) Passport (unexpired) Original or certified Birth Certificate
Foreign passport with Form I-94 or Form I-94A (unexpired) Certificate issued by US Consular Offices documenting the birth of a child on foreign soil to a US citizen. (Form FS-545, Form DS-1350, DS Form
U.S. Military card Certification of Report of Birth issued by the Department of State (Form DS-1350)
Military ID Card Voter’s Registration Card
Military dependent's ID card Native American Tribal Document
Foreign Passport with 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)
Federal , State or local issued photo ID Employment Authorization document issued by the Department of Homeland Security
Employment Authorization Document that contains a photograph (Form I- 766) Canadian Driver’s License
Passport from the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) or the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) with Form I-94 or Form I-94A  
School ID with photograph  
VA Identification Card (VIC) or VHIC*  
(*VIC or VHIC is considered a Federal-issued photo ID)

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 Veterans Identification Card (VIC)

VA wants all enrolled Veterans to have the VHIC, which is more secure and protects their personal information. If you have the old VIC, you should destroy it by cutting it up or shredding it.

What to do if your VHIC is lost or stolen

If your VHIC is lost or stolen, contact the VA medical facility where your picture was taken to request a new card be re-issued, or call 1-877-222-VETS (8387). In order to assist you during the call, please be aware that you will need to provide the proper identification.