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Identification Card


The VA Identification Card, also known as the Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC), is a card issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs to eligible veterans. It serves as proof of identity and eligibility for veterans to access VA healthcare services and benefits. The card displays the veteran’s name, photograph, and other essential information such as the branch of service and enrollment priority group.

Key Takeaways

  1. The Identification Card serves as the official form of identification for veterans, proving their eligibility for various benefits and services offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
  2. There are different types of VA identification cards, including the Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC), Veteran ID Card (VIC), and the Veterans Advantage Card, each serving a unique purpose and granting access to different benefits.
  3. Eligibility for a VA Identification Card requires proof of service, such as a DD-214, and the application process can be completed online or at a local VA medical facility. Once obtained, the card should be carried by the veteran to access their benefits easily.


The VA benefits term: Identification Card is important because it serves as a crucial tool in accessing and verifying the benefits and privileges available to veterans, active military members, and their eligible family members.

The Identification Card contains essential information such as the individual’s name, photo, and unique identification number, which enables healthcare providers, retail establishments, and service providers to confirm the person’s eligibility for various discounts, programs, and services.

Furthermore, it ensures that those who have dedicated their lives and service to the nation receive appropriate acknowledgement and assistance.

Overall, the Identification Card is an indispensable resource that safeguards and simplifies the process of availing the benefits rightly earned by veterans and military members.


The VA Identification Card serves a vital purpose in granting eligible veterans access to certain services and benefits associated with their honorable service in the United States Armed Forces. This card notably acts as a proof of the veteran’s identity and status as a former servicemember, making it an essential asset when it comes to obtaining the support they have earned.

The Identification Card not only streamlines the process for veterans to avail themselves of the assistance they need but also fosters a degree of recognition and respect for their contributions to the nation. In practical terms, the VA Identification Card is utilized by veterans in various scenarios that necessitate confirmation of their service-related eligibility for benefits and discounts.

This encompasses critical domains such as health care, vocational rehabilitation, educational assistance, home loans, life insurance, and even pension support. Beyond the realm of government-administered advantages, the Identification Card can also help veterans enjoy discounts, promotional offers, and general acknowledgement from businesses and organizations throughout the United States.

Overall, the VA Identification Card fulfills a crucial role by empowering veterans to seamlessly tap into a comprehensive range of services and opportunities in recognition of their sacrifices and commitment to the nation’s security.

Examples of Identification Card

Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC): The Veteran Health Identification Card is issued to veterans enrolled in the VA healthcare system. It serves as a form of identification for accessing healthcare services and benefits at VA facilities. The card features the veteran’s name, photo, and a unique Member ID, assisting in confirming their healthcare eligibility.

Veteran ID Card (VIC): The Veteran ID Card is a form of identification provided to all honorably discharged veterans, regardless of their enrollment in VA healthcare services. This card allows veterans to access discounts and benefits at various businesses and establishments, as it serves as proof of their military service. This card consists of the veteran’s name, photo, and details of military service, but does not grant access to medical services.

Department of Defense (DoD) Identification Card: This identification card is issued to active-duty military personnel, retirees, and their dependents. While not exclusively for veterans, this card can be used by veterans who are retired military personnel or eligible family members to access various benefits, including medical care through TRICARE, access to military installations, and use of commissaries or exchanges. The card typically features the holder’s name, photo, relationship to the service member (if applicable), and a barcode for scanning purposes.

VA Benefits: Identification Card FAQs

What is a VA Identification Card, and what are its benefits?

A VA Identification Card (VIC) is a card issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs to eligible veterans, allowing them access to certain benefits and services. The card serves as proof of veteran status and can be used to receive discounts, gain access to military installations, and take advantage of various programs, services, or resources available to veterans.

How can a veteran apply for a VA Identification Card?

To apply for a VA Identification Card, veterans need to visit the VA’s official website or a regional VA office. Online applications require veterans to create a user account, complete the application, submit the necessary documentation, and upload a photograph. Once the application is approved, the card will be mailed to the address provided. In-person applications can also be processed at regional VA offices, where assistance is available to complete the form and submit the necessary documents.

What types of VA Identification Cards are available?

There are three types of VA Identification Cards: the Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC), the Veteran ID Card (VIC), and the Veteran Proof of Service Card. The VHIC is issued to veterans enrolled in the VA healthcare system. The VIC provides a more convenient way for veterans to prove their status without carrying their DD-214 discharge papers. The Veteran Proof of Service Card is an alternative to the VIC if a veteran doesn’t qualify for the other cards.

Who is eligible to receive a VA Identification Card?

Eligibility for a VA Identification Card is based upon a veteran’s military service record. Generally, veterans with an honorable or general discharge who have served in active duty, the Reserve, or the National Guard are eligible for a VIC. However, eligibility requirements may vary depending on the type of card sought. For example, the VHIC is only issued to veterans who are enrolled in and receiving VA healthcare services, whereas the Veteran Proof of Service Card may be available to veterans who don’t qualify for the other cards.

How long does it take to receive a VA Identification Card after applying?

It typically takes about 3-4 weeks for a VA Identification Card to be processed and mailed to the applicant. This timeframe may vary depending on factors such as processing time, documentation, and the accuracy of the information provided. Applicants can check their application status online by logging into their account on the VA’s website.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC)
  • Proof of Military Service
  • Retiree Identification Card
  • Common Access Card (CAC)
  • Uniformed Services ID Card

Sources for More Information