The state of Virginia recently announced a new Veterans Identification Card for Virginia state residents. This card will serve as an official veterans ID card and proof of veterans status for state residents. These cards can be used any time you need to show proof of military service, including for military discounts at stores, state parks, or other businesses, or other veterans benefits (here is a list of participating Virgina retailers and other outlets).
How to Apply for Virginia Veterans ID Card
You will need to have a valid Virginia driver’s license or state issued ID card and your DD Form 214 (WD AGO document, Form NGB 22, or DD 256 will also work as proof of service). You will then need to fill out the application and pay a $10 application fee. The Virginia vets cards never expire, so you won’t have to worry about replacing your card unless it is lost or stolen.
Where to apply: You can apply in-person, online, or via fax or mail. You can download the application to make the process faster. You can apply through these DMV service outlets:
- DMV customer service centers
- DMV 2 Go mobile offices
- Online at www.dmvNOW.com
- U.S. mail: P.O. Box 27412, Richmond, VA 23269-0001
- Fax: (804) 367-1112
If you apply in person, you will receive a temporary Veterans ID card, much like a temporary driver’s license. Otherewise, you will receive your official Veterans ID card in the mail in about a week.
More States Should Follow Suit
It’s great to see Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell make this announcement – it’s long overdue for veterans who lack an easy way to prove military service. At the time of this announcement in 2012, there was no official government issued veterans ID card that covers all veterans. The options at the time of announcement included a military ID card for active duty and members of the Guard and Reserves, military retiree ID cards, and VA Issued Health Care ID cards for those with a qualifying service-connected disability rating). Other options included carrying around a copy of your DD Form 214, or getting a veterans designation on your drivers license, which is something most states now offer.
This is the first state I’ve heard of that offers an official veterans ID card, though most states will place a notation on state issued ID cards like driver’s licenses or state issued ID cards. Some local governments also issue military ID cards good for discounts at local businesses. But there needs to be a better system adopted nationwide.
I’m sure I don’t speak for myself when I say that I would love to see all states adopt this policy, or at the minimum, include a military veterans endorsement or logo on state driver’s licenses or ID cards. A national ID card for veterans would also be a welcome policy. The logistics are set up for states to easily issue ID cards or endorse driver’s licenses, so that may be the easiest to implement.