ID Cards

(Updated February 2022)

Need to renew your military ID but not sure how? Lost your ID? Need to get a new ID for a family member? Need to update your address or other information? MOAA has organized the resources you’ll need for all those activities below; click the link to go directly to the subject of interest, or scroll down for all the information:

 

Eligibility: Who Needs an ID Card, What Type, and When?

The Uniformed Services ID Card is for military family members, retirees and former servicemembers, members of the Individual Ready Reserves, and inactive National Guard members. Other military community members who may be eligible for military benefits include former spouses who have not remarried, 100% disabled veterans, and Transitional Health Care recipients.

The Common Access Card (CAC) is the standard ID for active duty service members as well as Selected Reserve members, DoD civilian employees, and some contractors.

The renewal date for military ID cards varies depending on a wide variety of factors; in general, it is every four years and the expiration date is on the front of the card.  

Children under 14 will not be issued an ID card unless:

  • The child’s temporary guardian lives away from the parent's duty station and must use a medical facility other than the one keeping the child's records; or the child resides temporarily away from the sponsor and there is no eligible spouse.
  • The child is of a joint service couple or a single parent.
  • The child's physical appearance warrants issue.
  • The child does not reside in the household of an eligible adult family member.


Beginning in the summer of 2021, DoD began issuing Uniformed Service Identification (USID) cards with indefinite expiration dates to dependent spouses and other eligible individuals at age 65 (previously age 75). This issuance does not impact cards issued with indefinite expiration dates before 2021.

How Do I Get a New ID Card?

If you are enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS), your eligibility can be verified and the card can be issued at the nearest military ID card issuing office. 

The easiest way to make an appointment is by going to the ID Card Office Online (RAPIDS) website. The site has an ID Card Office Locator where you can plug in your ZIP code and find the closest office to you. Many offices are not answering their phones at this time, so it’s best to make an appointment online.

Appointments fill up quickly. If you cannot find an available appointment, you may need to widen your search radius and look further out. Some offices also have walk-in hours.

The following special categories of personnel must have their ID card application verified by their service branch (Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, Coast Guard, U.S. Public Health Service, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration):

  • Incapacitated individuals over age 21
  • Dependent parents
  • Illegitimate child of a male sponsor whose paternity has not been judicially determined
  • Illegitimate child of spouse of sponsor
  • Unremarried and unmarried former spouses applying for initial issuance of an ID card.


How Far Ahead of Time Should I Renew My ID Card?

Beneficiaries should apply for a new ID card when their existing card is within 90 days of expiring. Many card-issuing locations have a significant backlog of customers, so it’s a good idea to make an appointment well in advance of the expiration date.

What About the Next Generation Uniformed Services Identification Card?

First introduced in July 2020, the Next Gen USID Card transitions the current ID card to plastic cardstock with enhanced security features. ID card issuance facilities will issue Next Gen USID cards to those with expiring ID cards.

Individuals with older cards that have an indefinite expiration date (INDEF) may exchange those cards for Next Gen USID cards at their convenience by following the instructions in the section How do I Get a New ID Card? However, the older style cards still will not expire and there is no DoD mandate or deadline, at present, to make the switch.

Individuals with older cards that have an expiration date should follow the regular replacement process, applying for a new ID within 90 days of the expiration date. Cards will not be reissued solely for the purpose of upgrading to the Next Gen USID.

What Do I Need to Bring With Me to Renew My Card?

Two forms of ID from this list of acceptable identity documents. One must be an unexpired, federal- or state-issued photo ID.

You should review the Pre-Arrival Checklist at CAC.mil, which contains all of the information needed to obtain or renew a DoD ID card.

How Do I Update My Information in DEERS?

DoD reports continuing, significant problems with maintaining accurate and current addresses in the DEERS database, particularly for retired servicemembers and their families and survivors.

It is important for surviving family members to update their personal information in DEERS when the active duty or retired sponsor dies.  

You can update your information at milConnect ID Card Office Online if you have a DS Logon or CAC card.  

Alternatively, members may fax the data to (831) 655-8317 or call DEERS at (800) 538-9552. You also can update your address by writing:

DEERS Support Office
ATTN: COA
400 Gigling Road
Seaside, CA 93955-6671

Can I Get My Military ID Card by Mail?

If you are disabled or have an incapacitated dependent and cannot get to an ID card office, you may be able obtain a new ID card by mail from the nearest military ID card office.

Locate your nearest ID card office by using the RAPIDS site locator. Call the office to verify mail-in ID card procedures. Plan ahead if updating by mail; the process may take from four to six weeks.

The list below describes the general process. MOAA recommends you call the nearest ID card for specific information:

  • As the applicant, you will provide an 8-by-10-inch or 5-by-7-inch portrait-type photograph, including your physical characteristics (i.e., eyes and hair color, weight, and height). The requirements for the photo are very specific, so call the nearest ID card for the detailed information.
  • A notary must verify your signature on a written statement concerning your identity. In cases of medical impairment, a statement from an attending physician is acceptable.
  • After you submit your request for an ID card by mail with your photo to your ID card office, you will be sent an ID card/application by certified mail for signature. Sign the proper block on the ID card and return to the issuing ID card office. Enter “INCAP” when the individual cannot sign because of a mental or physical incapacity.
  • The issuing activity will laminate the card and return to the applicant by certified mail.

What If I Have More Questions?

We are always here to help. Call us at 800-234-6622 or email us at msc@moaa.org.

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