ID Cards and COVID-19: What You Need to Know

ID Cards and COVID-19: What You Need to Know
An Air Force veteran utilizes the online ID card renewal process. (Photo by Jet Fabara/Air Force)

(Updated March 15, 2021)


DoD has authorized the use of expired identifiation cards through June 30, 2021, extending a deadline that had been set to expire Sept. 30.  


Starting in the summer of 2021, ID card offices will start issuing permanent, indefinite ID cards to eligible retirees and dependents at age 65.


DoD ID card offices are conducting renewals by appointment only, and all renewals must be made through the Real-Time Automated Personnel Identification System (RAPIDS). The move serves as a virus mitigation measure, limiting the number of people in line and in waiting areas.


The timeframe on use of expired Common Access Cards (CACs) by servicemembers has not changed; those cards must be renewed by Sept. 30. Servicemembers can get detailed renewal information via Military OneSource.


Despite the extension, MOAA recommends acting quickly to make your appointment, as many ID Card offices are already scheduled several months out. If you cannot find an appointment in the next few months, we recommend increasing the range radius in the ID card facility search on the RAPIDS website. ID Card facilities in “out stations” frequently have greater availability than those at larger installations.  


More Details 

MOAA has received a number of requests from members seeking guidance on obtaining or renewing identification cards during this time of limited access to in-person resources.


Below, you’ll find links and guidance from DoD regarding changes to policy and waivers for some expired ID cards. Note: This information was updated by MOAA on Sept. 15, and DoD policies related to the COVID-19 pandemic have changed rapidly; get the latest ID card guidance, instructions, and forms at


The Basics

  • If your Uniformed Services ID Card (USID) has an expiration date between Jan. 1, 2020, and today, and your affiliation/status has not changed, you may still use it to receive benefits. This rule is in effect through June 30, 2021.
  • DoD has expanded availability of off-site ID renewals and reissuances. You’ll be able to enroll new family members and update some of your information via mail or fax. More information, including where to send the required documents, is available at and under the “Service Specifics” header below. You also can contact your nearest RAPIDS location for more details; find yours here.
  • Remotely issued cards will expire no more than a year after they are issued.
  • The minimum age for dependents to require an ID has been raised from 10 to 14.


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Resources and Assistance

  • Schedule an appointment at your nearest RAPIDS location here. You also can email
  • Members turning 65, children aging out, Guard/Reserve, members transitioning to retirement, or first-time enrollments, please download this document (PDF) to find out what forms you’ll need to apply remotely for new IDs and ID renewals. Pay careful attention to what forms you’ll need and where to send them.
  • If you are turning 65, you must enroll in Medicare Parts A and B and have your Medicare card before updating your ID card. Check the milConnect site to check your Medicare status with TRICARE. Your current card will work until your updated card arrives.
  • Policy questions involving ID cards and/or benefits can be emailed to




Service Specifics

Army, Coast Guard, U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps members are asked to reach out to their nearest RAPIDS office with questions or for information on where to send enrollment/renewal documents, per DoD guidance. Some details on the other services, as of Sept. 15:


(This article was originally published April 8.)


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About the Author

Lt. Col. Mark Belinsky, USA (Ret)
Lt. Col. Mark Belinsky, USA (Ret)

Belinsky retired in 2019 after serving 22 years, with overseas tours to Afghanistan, Iraq, the Republic of Korea, and Germany. He joined the MOAA team in 2019 as Director, Currently Serving and Retired Affairs.