Editor’s note: This article by Amanda Miller originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.
Active-duty family members can now get their military ID cards renewed online and sent by mail for the first time ever as part of a new pilot program.
The Uniformed Service ID Cards (USIDs) must be renewed by a Common Access Card (CAC) holder. The pilot program, which ID card office officials at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, characterized in a Facebook post as a "soft launch," is only available to troops in an "active" status, according to a Defense Department fact sheet. It began on Feb. 24, 2023, and is set to run through Sept. 30, 2024.
While portions of the renewal process have been available online in the past, the new program allows online ordering from start to finish. While in the past, the renewed card had to be retrieved in person at a local ID card facility, the renewed dependent ID will instead be delivered by mail under the pilot program.
The cards will be processed and mailed by the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC), not local ID card offices, according to the fact sheet.
Since it's unclear how long the cards will take to arrive once the renewal request is made, users should consider in-person renewals if they need their new card soon, Fort Campbell officials wrote.
"We do not know how long it takes for the ID card to be received by the recipient. If you think that you may need your ID card soon because it's about to expire, we suggest coming into the DEERS office," they wrote in the Facebook post.
To use the pilot program, service members and their dependents must meet a few qualifications, according to DMDC:
- The service member sponsor must be an active-duty Common Access Card (CAC) holder, with an active status extending 30 days past the renewal request date.
- The dependent ID cards to be renewed must be active -- in other words, not yet expired.
- Both the sponsor and card holder must have email addresses registered in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). Update email addresses at the ID Card Office Online (IDCO) website by clicking on "My Profile."
- The card holder must have a photo saved in DEERS that's been taken within the past 12 years.
- The card holder's address in DEERS must be in the continental U.S., Alaska or Hawaii; and it may not be a P.O. box.
Here's how the pilot program is slated to work:
- The sponsor will go to the IDCO site and click on "Family ID Cards" then "Renew Family ID Cards."
- If the renewal is successful, the Defense Manpower Data Center will create and mail the new card. Your local ID card office won't do this.
- The sponsor and card holder will receive emails when the card is mailed. An email will also be sent if the online renewal wasn't successful.
- The sponsor will go back to the IDCO site to acknowledge receiving the new card.
Since military ID cards are considered government property, users are asked to return their old, now-replaced ID cards either by dropping it off at a local ID card office or by mail to: DMDC; DSC Attn: USID Card Returns; 2102 E 21st Street N.; Wichita, KS 67214.
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