DEERS: Everything You Need to Know

The Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, or DEERS, is the military's database for U.S. military members, family members, veterans, retirees, DoD contractors, and others who are eligible to receive military benefits. This guide covers how to update DEERS, make corrections, and more.
Advertising Disclosure.

Advertiser Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone. This article may contain links from our advertisers. For more information, please see our Advertising Policy.

The Military Wallet has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. The Military Wallet and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Some or all of the card offers that appear on The Military Wallet are from advertisers. Compensation may impact how and where card products appear, but does not affect our editors’ opinions or evaluations. The Military Wallet does not include all card companies or all available card offers.

Everything You Need to Know About DEERS
Table of Contents
  1. What is the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS)?
    1. Why is DEERS So Important?
  2. Updating DEERS
  3. Verifying DEERS Information
    1. DEERS and Identification Cards
    2. DEERS and Tricare
  4. Updating DEERS or Making Corrections to DEERS Information
    1. Retirees and DEERS

You’ve heard your spouse or someone you know refer to it over and over again: DEERS.

Clearly, it’s important since the military world’s privileges revolve around it, but what is DEERS, and why exactly is it so important? 

After reading this guide, you’ll understand:

  • What DEERS is
  • Why DEERS is so important
  • The benefits military members, family members, and veterans receive when enrolled in DEERS

What is the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS)?

DEERS is an acronym for the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System. It is an automated system that maintains information about military members and their families eligible for all of the different military benefits and entitlements.

Why is DEERS So Important?

In order to receive any military benefits, you must be enrolled in DEERS. Suppose you’ve ever been denied access to a military installation or have been unable to shop at the commissary or exchange on a military installation. In that case, an error in DEERS may have been the culprit.

The DEERS system is most commonly utilized and recognized for its essential role in ID cards, but the data also establishes eligibility for things like:

  • On-base housing
  • Educational benefits
  • Medical benefits — including FEDVIP programs for dental and vision
  • Dental benefits
  • Life Insurance (SGLI)

Due to the database’s role in so many benefits, you and your spouse must keep DEERS updated with the most accurate information; otherwise, you could be denied entitlements or benefits.

Updating DEERS

Military members are automatically enrolled in DEERS when they join the military. On the other hand, family members must be enrolled into the system by the sponsor. 

Anytime you PCS, move to a different address (even within the same area), change any other contact information, or have a change in family member status — IE: marriage, divorce, an addition to the family, etc. This is especially important after welcoming a newborn into your family. If you are unsure of what steps to take to update DEERS, we can help.

Verifying DEERS Information

There are certain circumstances in which you, as a spouse, dependent, or veteran, will need to verify your enrollment in DEERS. In the next sections, we will be discussing these different circumstances and how to verify your enrollment.

DEERS and Identification Cards

As part of being enrolled in DEERS, military members, dependents, and qualified veterans receive a military identification card

To verify your enrollment or enroll into DEERS, your sponsor may need to bring your: 

  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage certificate
  • Social security card
  • Photo ID

If you are a dependent verifying your enrollment in DEERS, to receive or renew your ID card, you may also need:

  • Your sponsor present
  • A power of attorney, or
  • A DD Form 1172-2 filled out by your sponsor

To schedule an appointment to receive or renew your ID card, you’ll need to make an appointment online or by calling your nearest RAPIDS office.

DEERS and Tricare

According to Tricare, you must be registered in DEERS to use your benefits. Sponsors are enrolled into DEERS when they become a military member, but family members must be added to the system when qualifying life changes occur. 

If you and your spouse are both service members and have a child, one parent must be listed as the child’s sponsor. 

For claims like…

  • Referrals
  • Prescriptions
  • Treatments
  • Etc. 

…to be processed correctly, all DEERS information must be correct and up-to-date.

Updating DEERS or Making Corrections to DEERS Information

If you, or your spouse, realize an error in the DEERS system, the sponsor needs to contact DEERS and have the information updated. This can be done one of two ways: 

  1. By logging on to Milconnect, or
  2. Visiting a local RAPIDS office.

Retirees and DEERS

Many retirees who qualify for military benefits are not aware that once they are eligible for Medicare, typically around the age of 65, they must update their DEERS information. 

Updating this information can also be done by visiting any RAPIDS office and bringing two forms of valid government-issued identification. 

For more information on DEERS, what benefits you qualify for through DEERS enrollment, and how to update or correct information in the system, visit milConnect’s website.

About Post Author

Get Instant Access
FREE Weekly Updates! Enter your information to join our mailing list.

Reader Interactions

Leave A Comment:


About the comments on this site:

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

The Military Wallet is a property of Three Creeks Media. Neither The Military Wallet nor Three Creeks Media are associated with or endorsed by the U.S. Departments of Defense or Veterans Affairs. The content on The Military Wallet is produced by Three Creeks Media, its partners, affiliates and contractors, any opinions or statements on The Military Wallet should not be attributed to the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, the Dept. of Defense or any governmental entity. If you have questions about Veteran programs offered through or by the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, please visit their website at The content offered on The Military Wallet is for general informational purposes only and may not be relevant to any consumer’s specific situation, this content should not be construed as legal or financial advice. If you have questions of a specific nature consider consulting a financial professional, accountant or attorney to discuss. References to third-party products, rates and offers may change without notice.

Advertising Notice: The Military Wallet and Three Creeks Media, its parent and affiliate companies, may receive compensation through advertising placements on The Military Wallet; For any rankings or lists on this site, The Military Wallet may receive compensation from the companies being ranked and this compensation may affect how, where and in what order products and companies appear in the rankings and lists. If a ranking or list has a company noted to be a “partner” the indicated company is a corporate affiliate of The Military Wallet. No tables, rankings or lists are fully comprehensive and do not include all companies or available products.

Editorial Disclosure: Editorial content on The Military Wallet may include opinions. Any opinions are those of the author alone, and not those of an advertiser to the site nor of  The Military Wallet.