Defense Department Expands ID Card Renewals by Mail to US-Based Retirees, Dependents

The Next Generation USID military spouse ID card
The Next Generation USID military dependent card incorporates an updated design and security features to deter counterfeiting and fraud, and is printed on a plastic cardstock. (Department of Defense)

Military retirees and their dependents based in the U.S. may now renew their military ID cards online and receive them by mail, relieving them of a trip to the on-base ID card office.

The Defense Department announced Tuesday that it's expanding a pilot program that began in 2023 and initially allowed certain dependents' Uniformed Services Identification cards, or USID, to be renewed by mail.

Portions of the renewal process have previously been available online. However, the pilot 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, it will instead be delivered by mail under the pilot program.

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After first offering the renewals by mail to dependents whose sponsors held a Common Access Card -- generally active-duty dependents -- the DoD will now allow the renewals for additional USID holders, who include U.S.-based retirees, their dependents and reservists.

Out of the 4.5 million IDs of all types that the department issues every year, about 1 million are the USIDs of people based in the U.S., according to the news release announcing the pilot program expansion.

The opportunity is only for people who already have a USID and need to renew it. Those applying for the first time will still need to go to an on-base office of the Real-Time Automated Personnel Identification System, or RAPIDS.

Further expanding the new renewal process to USID holders outside the U.S. in the future is "in the works," according to the news release.

Sponsors and cardholders may request renewals at the ID Card Office Online website. At the site, the sponsor must verify the dependent's identifying information and digitally sign a new Form DD 1172-2 to receive the renewed ID by mail.

Eligibility requirements:

  • The USID card being renewed is active (not expired).
  • The card recipient has a photo in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) taken in the last 12 years.
  • The card recipient has an email address saved in DEERS for communication.
  • The card recipient has a physical address (not a post office box) saved in DEERS in the continental U.S., Alaska or Hawaii.

The Defense Manpower Data Center will create and mail the new card, emailing both the sponsor and cardholder when it has done so. An email will also be sent if the online renewal wasn't successful.

Once the card arrives, the sponsor must log back in to the ID Card Office Online website to acknowledge receiving it. Since military ID cards are considered government property, users are asked to return their old, replaced ID cards either by dropping them off at a local ID card office or by mailing them to:

Attn: USID Card Returns
2102 E. 21st Street N.
Wichita, KS 67214.

Related: Renewed Military ID Cards Can Be Sent by Mail in New Pilot Program

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