Veterans ID Card

As a U.S. veteran, you may receive discounts from various businesses, restaurants, hotels, and stores. But to obtain those discounts, you must show an approved form of identification proving you are a veteran. Several types of ID cards qualify, including the Veteran ID card. Don’t miss out on substantial discounts! Become informed about Veteran ID cards and how to obtain them. 

Key Takeaways
  • The Veteran ID Card (VIC) is a digital photo ID for U.S. veterans, providing access to various discounts without the need to present military discharge papers.
  • Veterans eligible for the VIC include those with honorable or general discharges under honorable conditions from active duty, Reserves, National Guard, or Coast Guard.
  • The VIC is free, and veterans can apply online by submitting a photo, a digital copy of discharge documents, and a valid government-issued ID.

Veterans can access many kinds of discounts, including travel, recreation, health care, cars, sporting goods, clothing, restaurants, national parks, and more. You’ll need an identification card proving you’re a qualified veteran to access these discounts. 

Veterans Guide has answers if you have any questions about your life as a veteran. We provide trusted information and, if needed, can connect you with legal professionals. 

What is a Veteran ID Card?

A Veteran ID card is a physical or digital form of identification proving you served in the military and received an honorable discharge or a general discharge under honorable conditions. To obtain any discounts and other benefits that private businesses offer veterans, you must show proof that you are a vet. The most convenient way is to use an ID card.

Types of Veteran ID Cards

There are several different types of veteran ID cards. You only need to show one to receive veteran discounts.

Veteran Identification Card

A Veteran ID Card, or VIC, is a digital photo ID card. With a VIC card, you can get veteran discounts at stores, businesses, and restaurants without showing your military discharge papers or sharing personal information.

The VIC card only gives you access to discounts. It does not provide entry to military bases, and you can’t use it to check into a VA hospital. 

You could also use a state-issued driver’s license or ID with a veteran’s designation to obtain veteran discounts. If you already have one, you can access the same discounts you would get with a VIC card. While you wouldn’t need to get the VIC card for discounts, you may still apply if you want it. A DoD card or a VHIC card will also provide access to the same types of discounts:

Department of Defense Identification Card

There are two types of Department of Defense ID cards. The Common Access Card, or CAC, is for active-duty military personnel, Selected Reserve members, Department of Defense civilian employees, and eligible DoD contractors. The uniformed service ID card, or USID, is for military retirees and military family members.

You can use your DoD card to obtain services on military bases and veteran discounts at stores, businesses, and restaurants.

Veteran Health Identification Card

When you enroll in VA health care, you will receive a Veteran Health Identification Card, or VHIC. In addition to using the VHIC card for your appointments at VA medical facilities, you can use it whenever you need a photo ID proving you’re a veteran to obtain discounts in stores, businesses, and restaurants.

Eligibility for a Veteran ID Card

You are eligible to receive a veteran ID card if you served: 

You also must have received an honorable discharge or a general discharge under honorable conditions.

You are not eligible for a Veteran ID card if you received any of these types of discharges:

If your discharge status is uncharacterized or unknown, the VA must verify your eligibility before they approve your Veteran ID card application.

How To Get a Veteran ID Card

There is no charge for a veteran ID card. You can apply for the card online.  

You will need several documents and a photo to complete your application:

You must have a cropped photo to show you from the shoulders up. Your eyes must be open and your expression neutral. A full view of your face and neck from the front must be visible without being blocked or shadowed by headphones, head covering, or a hat. The background should be white or plain colored, without other people or scenery. The photo should be square, in color, and digital in a .jpeg, .png, .bmp, or .tiff format.  

After you apply, the VA will check your eligibility to ensure:

The VA will send you an email notifying you of the status of your application. It also will notify you by email if you need to supply more information. When your application is approved, the VA will attach your digital VIC card to an email. 

You can also find out the status of your application by logging into your AccessVA account.

Replace a Lost or Stolen Veteran ID Card

If your VIC is lost or stolen, email the VA at, and the VA will email you a replacement.

Can Spouses and Dependents of Veterans Get a Military ID Card?

Spouses and dependents of veterans are not eligible for VIC cards. However, the dependents of an active duty or retired service member may be eligible for a Department of Defense USID card.

Veterans Guide Provides Information and Resources You Can Trust

Veterans Guide helps U.S. veterans receive all the benefits they are entitled to. We work with veterans in all areas of the country, providing comprehensive information and connecting veterans with legal professionals when needed. 

If you have concerns about your disability rating, benefits, SSDI, or toxic exposure, call us at (888) 982-1009 or fill out our contact form

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