ID Cards


(Updated January 2024)

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 (USID) 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 depends on a variety of factors; in general, it is every four years and the expiration date is on the front of the card.  

Children under 10 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. 

Many ID card offices operate on an appointment-only basis. 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 do not answer their phones, 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. Some offices 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.

Can I Get a New Card, or Renew My Old Card, by Mail?

Renewals: Many U.S.-based retirees and family members are now eligible to renew their USID cards online. Learn more here.

CAC holders and USID cardholders with a DoD Self-Service Logon account can now renew their ID cards online. The renewal process begins at the RAPIDS ID Card Office Online site.

The program requires that renewals be for active, unexpired cards only. Other requirements include:

  • Both the sponsor and the cardholder must have email addresses in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) and have authorized DoD to contact them at those addresses.
  • The cardholder must have a photo on file in DEERS that was taken within the last 12 years.
  • The cardholder must have a mailing address in DEERS.
  • The cardholder must live in the U.S.

After submitting a request for renewal, the cardholder and sponsor will receive an email confirming the card has been shipped or informing them of a problem with the process and providing further details. The sponsor can track the card via the ID Card Office Online and will receive instructions on how to confirm receipt of their card online; they must confirm receipt before the new card will be activated.

If for some reason the cardholder is not able to request a new card online, they should contact the closest ID card facility and see if one can be mailed to them.

Questions? Contact a Defense Manpower Data Center customer service representative at (800) 538-9552. They are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., excluding federal holidays. 

New Cards: 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 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.

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

Beneficiaries should begin the renewal process 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 if you are renewing in person.

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?

Plans call for the complete phase-out of older cards by 2026; DoD’s Defense Manpower Data Center told MOAA via email that a specific date “has yet to be determined” and that officials “encourage those with an ID card that has an indefinite expiration date printed thereon, to schedule an appointment to have the card replaced at their convenience sometime between now and 2026.”

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, 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
400 Gigling Road
Seaside, CA 93955-6671

My Child Is turning 21 and Their ID Card Is Expiring. What Should I Do?

Dependent ID cards and access to TRICARE coverage expire at age 21 unless the dependent is a full-time student and dependent on the sponsor for more than one half of their support. A letter from the school registrar certifying enrollment in a full-time in-residence or online course of study leading to an associate degree or higher and listing an anticipated graduation date must be submitted to the ID card office along with a completed DD Form 1172-2.

If the child is over 21 and is not a full-time student but is enrolled in TRICARE Young Adult, they can get an ID card by submitting proof of enrollment in TRICARE Young Adult along with a completed DD 1172-2.

What If I Have More Questions?

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

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