How to Get Veteran Discounts

A cashier accepts payment for a purchase at the Fort Myer, Virginia Post Exchange. (Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall/Nell King)
A cashier accepts payment for a purchase at the Fort Myer, Virginia Post Exchange. (Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall/Nell King)

Many private businesses offer veteran discounts on Veterans Day, holidays such as Memorial Day and Independence Day, or throughout the year.

But the identification those businesses require from shoppers to show they are veterans is just as varied as the businesses offering the discounts.

Above all, it's important for veterans to remember that businesses aren't required to offer these savings to shoppers. While it can be frustrating to be turned away because you don't have the identification a particular establishment requires, making a scene is unlikely to help anyone.

What identification do you need to prove that you're a veteran? How can you get a veteran discount? Here are a few common options.

Retiree or Military Identification Card

If you're still on active duty, in the Guard or Reserve, or are a military dependent, the easiest way to prove your veteran status is to show your official military ID card.

Related: Renew Your Military ID Online at These Bases

VA Benefits Card

If you receive VA health benefits, you likely have a VA benefits photo ID card. That card can be used as proof of veteran status at many businesses.

Veterans ID Card

In 2017, the Department of Veterans Affairs rolled out a new ID program to all honorably discharged veterans. Ordered by Congress in 2015, the new veteran ID card is to be mailed free of charge to any veteran who applies.

Related: Should You Get the New Veteran ID Card?

Although it will not qualify as an official form of federal ID, Congress ordered this benefit to give veterans a way to show private businesses they served. The program, however, is running a significant backlog, and the time between application and mailing can be many months.

DD-214

Veterans who have access to their form DD-214 documents can use that as proof of service at many businesses. The VA's new veteran ID card program is meant to eliminate the need to carry this form.

State Identification Card

Some states offer the option of a veteran designation on driver's licenses. Ask your state drivers license office if this is an option for you.

Related: Veteran State Benefits

Proof Online

Many online businesses also offer a veteran discount. Those businesses may use a program such as ID.me, which requires users to make a one-time registration and upload documents proving veteran or other affiliation, such as law enforcement. Businesses then turn to ID.me to verify the user before passing on their discount.

Stay Up to Date With Military Discounts

Whether you're an active duty service member, a military family member, or a veteran, stay on top of all the military discounts you're eligible for, from travel accommodations to auto and entertainment deals. Sign up for a free Military.com membership to get full access to all discounts.

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