By Military1 Staff
In November, the Department of Veterans Affairs launched the registration site for the new Veterans Identification Card (VIC), available to all honorably-discharged veterans.
Not every veteran will need a VIC, so read on to find out what the new card will and won’t do, and if you would benefit from registering for one.
1. It will not get you on base
While the VIC is an identification card, it will not provide you base access. You will still need an active, retired, medical or dependent ID card to gain access to military installations.
So, before you think about heading to the Class Six with your VIC, just know that it will no more be accepted at the gate than your library card will.
2. It takes the place of DD Form 214
Many veterans will rejoice at the idea of not needing to keep a paper copy of their DD Form 214 in their wallet just to receive a free meal on Veterans Day. The VIC will most likely be accepted in place of the form at retailers and stores offering discounts to veterans.
This alone makes the VIC worth getting.
3. It hides private information
It's always uneasy flashing documents at strangers that contain extremely personal information, such as your address or social security number. With the VIC, that will be the thing of the past, as no identifiable information, other than your picture and name, will appear on the card.
Again, bye-bye, DD Form 214.
4. It can be accepted for military discounts
On Veterans Day, popping out a quick card that verifies your veteran status is much easier than trying to find a way to prove your serivce to your Applebee's waiter. It might take a little getting used to at first, but eventually you'll fall back into the habit of whipping out your military identification at the drop of a hat.
5. It does entitle you to shop online at AAFES
You can use the VIC to verify yourself as a veteran and shop the online version of the Army Air Force Exchange Service. You'll remember that AAFES offers thousands of products at lower prices for service members, their families, and, as of last November, veterans, too. Though veterans are only eligible to shop online, the amount of savings is worth it to wait for shipping (don't forget, items are tax free, too!).
6. It's not considered an official government-issued ID
No, you won't be able to use it as an official ID at places such as the airport, or the Department of Motor Vehicles, so don't count it. But, make sure you send in a good photo, because your mug will be smack on the front of your card.