What Is a Veterans ID Card? And How Do I Obtain One?

While the exact number fluctuates on a daily basis, the U.S. Census estimates there to be over 18.2 million military veterans in the United States. To put that number into perspective, about seven in 100 Americans have served in the military. Whether you served in the Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marine Corps or Navy, however, you are eligible to a Veterans Identification Card (VIC). To learn more about VICs and how to obtain one, keep reading.

What Is a VIC

A VIC is a photo ID card that verifies a person’s veteran status. In 2015, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) passed the Veterans Identification Card Act. Available to view by clicking here, it allows veterans to obtain a photo ID card showing that they’ve served in the military. Previously, only active servicemembers, retired servicemembers and disabled veterans were allowed to obtain a photo ID card. The Veterans Identification Card Act of 2005, however, allows all veterans to obtain a photo ID card, which is known as a VIC.

VICs are optional, and veterans are in no way required to obtain one. With that said, it’s still worth the nominal investment of your time and energy if you served in the military. Using a VIC, you can take advantage of savings, discounts and other perks at thousands of businesses across the country. From national retail stores to local mom-and-pop restaurants, countless U.S. businesses offer special benefits to veterans. While some of these businesses may simply take your word if you tell them you’re a veteran, others require proof. With a VIC, you can show businesses that you served in the military, allowing you to take advantage of their military benefits.

How to Obtain a VIC

If you served in the military, you might be wondering how to obtain a VIC. Well, it’s actually a quick and easy process. To get started, head over to the official VA website and click the green-colored “Sign in or create an account” button halfway down the page. You can sign in using your DS Login or MyHealthVet account. If you don’t have one of these accounts, you’ll need to create a new account.

To obtain a VIC, you’ll need to have some information on hand. This includes your Social Security number, a copy of your DD214 form and a copy of a government-issued photo ID. Once you’ve completed the online form, the VA will prepare and send you a VIC.