Military dependents and retirees now have through the end of June 2021 to access benefits using ID cards that expired this year, thanks to an extension of temporary ID card rules issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Typically, cards must be applied for, issued and updated in person up to 30 days before the expiration date at one of the more than 1,600 ID card offices on military facilities worldwide. Cards that do not expire, such as those held by retirees over 65, do not need to be renewed.
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But in an effort to reduce crowds at ID card facilities during the pandemic, officials in April issued guidance allowing dependents and retirees to continue to use cards that expired this year to access both military bases and benefits through the end of September.
New guidelines issued this month bump that expiration extension into next year. Now, holders of those cards will be able to use them for benefits such as medical care through June 30, 2021, and for base access through March 2021.
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The pandemic allowances put in place a temporary system for remote ID card renewals, updates and reissuances. That system has also been extended indefinitely under the updated Pentagon order. Cards changed remotely will be given an expiration date of one year from the time they are issued, the new guidance states.
The update also extends an age bump for military kids to receive their first ID card. Under normal circumstances, that age is 10. Under the temporary rule, it is 14.
The extension, however, applies only to the cards held by retirees and dependents, known as the Uniformed Services ID (USID). Expired Common Access Cards (CAC) and Volunteer Logical Access Credentials (VoLAC) had previously also been allowed through September. That change will end Sept. 30 as planned.
-- Amy Bushatz can be reached at email@example.com.
This story was updated to reflect rules for ID cards that do not expire.