New Veterans ID Cards Won't be Available Until 2017

A veterans ID card to be issued by the Veterans Affairs Department probably won't be available until next year, officials say. The optional card would make it easier for veterans to prove their status in order to obtain discounts from some private companies.(Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Congress passed legislation for a new veterans ID card last summer, but it will likely be another year before any are issued.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has begun drafting regulations for production and issuing of the ID cards, designed to give veterans easy proof of their military service for non-federal activities.

Legislation authorizing the cards, sponsored by Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., passed through Congress without objection last July. He argued that veterans needed the option for a veterans ID to help individuals who have to carry around copies of their discharge paperwork to get discounts or services at a host of private businesses.

Veterans requesting the IDs would have to pay a small, yet-to-be-determined fee, to cover production costs.

But Veterans Affairs officials said it will likely still be months before anyone gets the new cards. The rule-making process is expected to take at least another year, with production and issuing times still to be decided.

Congress passed legislation for a new veterans ID card last summer, but it will likely be another year before any are issued.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has begun drafting regulations for production and issuing of the ID cards, designed to give veterans easy proof of their military service for non-federal activities.

Legislation authorizing the cards, sponsored by Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., passed through Congress without objection last July. He argued that veterans needed the option for a veterans ID to help individuals who have to carry around copies of their discharge paperwork to get discounts or services at a host of private businesses.

Veterans requesting the IDs would have to pay a small, yet-to-be-determined fee, to cover production costs.

But Veterans Affairs officials said it will likely still be months before anyone gets the new cards. The rule-making process is expected to take at least another year, with production and issuing times still to be decided.

By Leo Shane III, Military Times
Leo Shane III covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He can be reached at lshane@militarytimes.com.
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http://www.militarytimes.com/story/military/benefits/veterans/2016/01/26/va-id-cards-wait-2017/79313758/