The Department of Defense began issuing Next Generation Uniformed Services Identification (USID) cards in July 2020. These ID cards are made of stiff plastic as opposed to the previously issued ID cards made of paper and incorporate features that make the card itself more secure and harder to counterfeit. There is no rush to go out and obtain a Next Generation USID card; the DoD will not issue a new card solely for the purpose of updating your ID type. The USID card in your possession is valid until its expiration date.

If you are a retiree, your ID is valid until the month before you turn 65 years old, at which point you will need to renew. Spouses of retirees must renew their ID cards every four years. Again, while there is a new type of ID available, you do not need to apply for a new card until your current one expires. Other individuals who will need to check the expiration date of their current USID card include members of the Inactive Ready Reserve and inactive National Guard; 100% disabled veterans; and dependents or surviving dependents of active duty servicemembers, retirees, and Medal of Honor recipients.

Note: Some retirees have USID cards that do not expire; they have an indefinite (INDEF) expiration date. These cards do not need to be replaced with a Next Generation USID.

If your current ID card is nearing its expiration date, you can schedule an appointment to visit a Real-Time Automated Personnel Identification System (RAPIDS) site for a new ID here. You will need to bring with you:

  • A completed DD Form 1172-2 that has been signed by the sponsor. The sponsor of a servicemember or retiree is the servicemember or retiree themself, and the sponsor of a dependent is the servicemember or retiree. The sponsor may sign the form in person at the RAPIDS site, online, have their signature notarized, or sign through a Power of Attorney.
  • Eligibility documentation, if applicable. USID holders must be registered with the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). Dependents may be required to submit eligibility documentation with their completed DD Form 1172-2. These documents may include a marriage certificate, birth certificate, letter from a school registrar, or proof of enrollment in TRICARE. Learn more here.
  • Two documents that prove your identity. These include your expiring USID, passport, driver’s license, Social Security Card, and birth certificate, among others. You can find the full list of accepted documents here.

A USID allows you to access most military installations. If your ID card is expired or lost, but you need access to an installation, you will need to present a valid state-issued REAL ID card at an installation’s Visitor Control Center to be permitted entry. The Visitor Control Center will use your Social Security Number to confirm your identity and provide you with a Visitor’s Pass. You can then visit a RAPIDS site to obtain a new USID.

If your sponsor is deceased, you can still renew your dependent USID. To do so, you will need to make an appointment at a RAPIDS site prior to the expiration of your current ID. You will also need to report your sponsor’s death to DEERS; you can do this by:

  • Bringing a copy of their death certificate to a RAPIDS site
  • Faxing a copy of their death certificate to DMDC/DEERS at 800-336-4416
  • Mailing a copy of the death certificate and your sponsor’s Social Security Number to:
    • DMDC/DEERS Support Office
      400 Gigling Road
      Seaside, CA 93955

Navy Mutual is here to help. Our Education and Veterans Services team can answer your questions about DoD and VA benefits. You can contact them here.