Types of Veteran ID cards
There are many types of identification cards you can use to show you’re a Veteran. You only need to have one of them for this purpose. Learn about the different types of VA ID cards and other Veteran ID options.
Department of Defense Identification Card
A Department of Defense (DoD) Identification Card is used to show your military status and to get access to services at military bases. You may also use this card to get discounts offered to Veterans at many stores, businesses, and restaurants. If you have a DoD Identification Card, you don’t need to request another type of photo ID card to prove you’re a Veteran or to get retail or business discounts.
You may be eligible if one of these descriptions is true for you.
One of these must describe you:
- You’re retired from the military, or
- You’re on active duty, or
- You’re in the National Guard, the Reserves, the Selected Reserves, or Inactive Ready Reserve
Note: Depending on your status, the DoD issues either a Common Access Card (CAC) or a Uniformed Services ID Card (USID). For both types of DoD cards, you’ll need to either be a sponsor or have a sponsor.
You’ll need to fill out an Application for Identification Card/DEERS Enrollment (DD Form 1172-2).
Then turn in your completed application to a Real-Time Automated Personnel Identification System (RAPIDS) office for processing.
Veteran Health Identification Card
When you’re enrolled in VA health care, you get a Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC) that you use to check in to your appointments at VA medical centers. You may also use this card to get discounts offered to Veterans at many stores, businesses, and restaurants. If you have a VHIC, you don’t need to request another type of photo ID card to prove you’re a Veteran or to get retail or business discounts.
You need to be enrolled in VA health care to receive a VHIC. If you aren’t signed up for VA health care, you can apply online now.
Find out how to apply for VA health care
If you’re already enrolled in VA health care, you can request your VHIC online or in person at your nearest VA medical center.
Veteran ID Card
A Veteran ID Card (VIC) is a digital photo ID you can use to get discounts for Veterans at many stores, businesses, and restaurants. When you have this card, you won’t need to carry around your military discharge papers or share sensitive personal information to get discounts. And you don’t need to request another type of photo ID card to prove you’re a Veteran or to get retail or business discounts.
You may be eligible if you meet both of the requirements listed below.
Both of these must be true:
- You served on active duty, in the Reserves, or in the National Guard (including the Coast Guard), and
- You received an honorable or general discharge (under honorable conditions)
If you received an other than honorable, bad conduct, or dishonorable character of discharge, you’re not eligible for a Veteran ID Card. If you have an uncharacterized or unknown discharge status, we’ll have to verify your eligibility before we approve your application.
You can apply online now.
Learn more about how to apply for a Veteran ID Card
Note: As of September 2022, all new Veteran ID Cards are digital. If you already have a physical Veteran ID Card, you can continue using it to get discounts.
Veteran’s designation on a state-issued driver’s license or ID
At this time, all 50 states and Puerto Rico offer a Veteran designation (an identifying mark) printed on state-issued driver’s licenses or IDs. The type of Veteran designation may vary from state to state. If you have a Veteran’s designation, you may be able to get discounts offered to Veterans at many stores, businesses, and restaurants.
Most states ask you to provide a copy of your discharge papers (DD214 or other separation documents). Some states may require additional documents.
Please check with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles about what you need to apply for a Veteran’s designation for your state.