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Can I Get a Military ID With a Felony Conviction?

U.S. Air Force photo

Dear Q&B,

I've cleaned up my life and am going to get married to an awesome military man pretty soon. I've got a job, and I haven't broken any laws for several years. But I do have an embarrassing past: I have a felony drug conviction as an adult.

My future husband and I are worried that I won't be allowed on the military base because of my felony conviction and that they won't give me a military ID card. How does that work?

Sincerely,
Felon Almost Spouse

Dear Almost Spouse,

Congratulations on staying clean. That's a huge accomplishment. And equal congratulations on your upcoming marriage.

Good news: While military bases do conduct a background check before allowing anyone on base with a visitor's pass, and base restrictions are sometimes up to the base commander, you shouldn't be blocked from getting a military ID card as long as you don't have a warrant out for your arrest.

"Presuming the individual in question has served their time for the felony and is currently not on a felony want or warrant list, DoD physical access policy (Directive-type Memorandum 09-012) does not prohibit a convicted felon from accessing the base, escorted or unescorted," officials with the Office of the Secretary of Defense told us in a statement.

Now, just a warning -- things might get a little bit more complicated if you're looking for federal employment, they said. While having a felony conviction does not necessarily mean you can't get federal employment, agencies do have the ability to consider it as part of the hiring process and decide whether, given your past conviction, you're still the best candidate for the job.

Good luck!

Sincerely,
Team Q&B

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