Can He Keep His Military ID Card After the Divorce?

Airman 1st Class Lakeisha Cohn, a customer support technician with the 6th Force Support Squadron, creates a dependent ID on Nov. 10, 2016, at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. Airman 1st Class Mariette Adams/Air Force
Airman 1st Class Lakeisha Cohn, a customer support technician with the 6th Force Support Squadron, creates a dependent ID on Nov. 10, 2016, at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. Airman 1st Class Mariette Adams/Air Force

Dear Q&B,

My service member wife and I are getting a divorce. She wants my military ID card back, but I've read on several sites that I don't have to give it to her.

I know I'll lose my benefits after the divorce, but I've read that I can keep my card as a photo ID and keepsake.

Is that true? Thanks.

-- Sentimental

Hi --

I can see why you'd want to hold onto your military ID card as a memento of your time as a military spouse.

And as long as the date on it is still valid, it does make a pretty handy alternate form of ID. Once your divorce is final, you won't be able to access any official benefits with it since scanning it would show it as invalid, so there's no harm in keeping it, right?

Unfortunately, hanging onto it is a no-no. Why? Military ID cards are considered federal property, and if you're no longer an authorized ID card holder -- and you won't be after your divorce -- you're expected to turn it over to its rightful owner, Uncle Sam.

Will you get arrested for keeping it? Probably not. No secret agents or men in black are going to raid your house or hunt you down for having it.

But giving it up is, technically, the correct thing to do.

-- Team Q&B

-- Do you have a question about your benefits? Email the Military.com Questions and Benefits team at questionsandbenefits@military.com.

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