Veteran ID cards are (finally) going to ship this week

Matt Saintsing
May 03, 2018 - 2:16 pm

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If you’re like me, you spent enough time in the military to cash in on all the benefits, but have no formal identification to do so. As a result, you have to rely on the coveted DD-214, or other documents proving your service. That can make Veterans Day, or as I call it, “Discounted Pancake Day,” a bit unsure.

But alas, relief is finally on the way, as the Department of Veterans Affairs will start mailing out the first bunch of veterans ID cards Friday, May 4.

“We expect to begin mailing cards in batches (Friday) to veterans whose applications have been reviewed and approved," said Department of Veterans Affairs press secretary Curt Cashour.

The VA has received over 90,000 applications for the Veteran ID Card, and has approved more than 21,000.

Any honorably discharged veteran can apply for the ID card, which Congress required in 2015. The card isn’t an official form of federal identification and does not qualify vets for any federal or military benefits, but instead, is intended to serve as proof of past military service—a benefit that comes in handy at business offering discounts.

Veterans that have other ID proving their service, such as military, retiree, or VA health ID cards, need not apply. But for anyone who did a few years and got out, this card is for you.

Card applications aren’t available at VA facilities, but qualifying veterans can click here to apply online.

The first of the veteran ID cards may start to ship on May 4, but the program has faced a series of delays since its launch last November. In January, officials said veterans would start seeing the free cards in their mailboxes in early March, then April, but they never came.

That’s because a massive wave of applications overloaded the VA’s server and applications were on hold for weeks.

But now, it seems the VA means it and all the problems have been worked out (we’ll see).