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H.R. 2835

Military Dependent ID Cards

A dependent ID is laminated at MacDill Air Force Base. (Photo: U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Ned T. Johnson.)

The Military ID card is an essential part of accessing your benefits, without it you may not be able to get on base, go to the commissary, child care, or get health care.

The Department of Defense issues eligible dependents and other eligible individuals a distinct identification card (ID) authorizing them to receive Uniformed Services benefits and privileges. Dependents of active duty and retired service members receive a tan colored ID Card (DD Form 1173). The tan ID cards authorize access to commissary exchange and certain morale, welfare and recreation privileges.

Are you a new military family member trying to get a new military ID card for the first time? Use this guide.

Guard and Reserve Dependent ID Cards

Normally, reserve component (RC) family members and other dependents receive a DD Form 1173-1, the DoD Guard and Reserve Dependent ID Card (red). These cards do not authorize eligibility for medical benefits. They will assist family members in accessing these privileges when accompanied by a copy of the servicemember's orders to active duty or a commissary privilege card. The cards do authorize access to exchange and certain morale, welfare and recreation privileges.

The red ID Card (DD Form 1173-1) serves as proof that individuals have been pre-enrolled in the Defense Eligibility Enrollment System (DEERS). This is an important first step in obtaining family member and dependent medical treatment when the servicemember is called to active duty for 31 consecutive days or more.

RC family members do have unlimted access to base commissary (DeCA) and exchange facilities.

Want to know more about shopping at the commissary? Go here.

When the RC servicemember is called to active duty for more than 30 days, part of the processing for entry on active duty should be the completion of DD Form 1172 (Application for Uniformed Services Identification Card). This application, along with the DD Form 1173-1, will allow family members and dependents to receive the DD Form 1173 (tan). These cards will authorize appropriate medical and MWR benefits and privileges for the period of active duty specified on the member's orders.

The DoD uses a system referred to as the Real Time Automated Personnel Identification System (RAPIDS) to issue ID Cards. Family members and eligible dependents are required to report to a RAPIDS ID Card issuing site in order to be issued the appropriate ID card. Since not all military installations have the ability to use RAPIDS you may need to ask your command or unit administration office for a list of ID Card issuing locations in your area or visit the RAPIDS Site Locator online.

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