Should You Get the Veteran ID Card?

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The U.S. Pacific Command joint service color guard participates in the 2016 Governor’s Veterans Day Ceremony at the Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery in Kaneohe, Hawaii, Nov. 11, 2016. (U.S. Marine Corps photo/Staff Sgt. Jason W. Fudge)

The Department of Veterans Affairs offers veterans a free ID card which can be used to prove your veteran status when needed at businesses and other locations.

The free ID card, was ordered by Congress in 2015 as a way to give veterans proof of service at businesses without carrying a copy of their DD-214 forms. It is available for all honorably discharged veterans, regardless of era or time in service.

Veterans who are enrolled in the VA healthcare system already have a VA issued ID card, but that leaves the majority of veterans without any valid proof of service that may be required to get special benefits from private firms. 

How Do You Get the Veterans ID Card?

Getting the card is actually pretty easy, it takes about 15 minutes to visit the VA.GOV website, create an account, enter your service data, and upload a selfie from your phone. You may need to upload a picture of your DD-214 in some situations.

Why Get The VA ID Card?

Since many states offer the ability to prove your veteran status on your driver's license, why should you do all the work of getting another card to carry around?

Well, the card is easy to read and clerks and others can easily spot your veteran status without having to seek out the small veteran designation on some state driver's licenses. Also your personal information like age and address are not displayed on the VA ID card. 

Remember, besides federal benefits and discounts, many states offer special benefits to veterans like tax breaks, hiring preference and discounts on recreational activities.

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