Getting to Know Your Military ID

You may have seen your service member‘s CAC (military ID) before, which allows them to get on base, view their email, get into certain buildings or areas, and more.

Did you know that you as a spouse should get your own ID card?

Who can get a military ID card?

Military ID’s for dependents, also known as Uniformed Service ID’s (USID), are designed for military family members, military retirees, National Guard and reservists, and others eligible for DoD benefits.

Family members include dependents (spouses, children, parents) of active duty, reserve, retiree, and National Guard members.

HOW to get a military ID:

Step 0: DEERS

Before you can begin the process of receiving an ID card, you must be enrolled in DEERS. This process has to be done with the help of your service member. You can read more here on how to be added into DEERS.

Step 1: Make an appointment

Once you have been added to DEERS, you will need to make an appointment to get your new military ID.

You can find your nearest military installation here. Included at this website will be hours of operation for the card office (aka: RAPIDS site, DEERS office, Personnel Support Detachment, Pass and ID office…). There will also be an option to schedule an appointment.

If you live far away from a military installation, the website above also includes RAPIDS offices that are not on military installations.

Step 2: Gather documents

When receiving your military ID, you will need 3 documents.

One, a DD Form 1172-2. Usually, this form is provided inside the card office. It requires your service members signature.

PRO TIP: If your service member cannot physically be at your appointment to sign the form, they can electronically sign here at the ID Card Online Office, or you can get a Power of Attorney.

Two, a form of ID. The easiest form will most likely be your drivers license or state ID.

Three, a second form of ID. This could be a passport, birth certificate*, social security card, voter ID card… You can view a comprehensive list of accepted documents here.

*Remember, if you have legally changed your name since birth, you will need to provide proof of the name change, such as a marriage license.*

Step 3: Attend appointment

Attending the appointment can sometimes be the most stressful part. But if you followed the steps above, you will be all ready to go!

Luckily, some card offices are located off base or just outside of the gate.

However, there are some that are located ON BASE. If this is the case, you may need a visitors pass. Give yourself plenty of time before your appointment to stop by the visitors area outside of the base if needed.

PRO TIP: Some bases are flexible about letting civilians on base when accompanied by an ID or CAC holder. Try to get on base BEFORE going to the visitors area. You might get lucky! If not, you won’t get in trouble. They will simply direct you to the visitors center to receive a pass.

How long do they last?

Military ID cards usually last for 4 years, and do not need to be updated when you move.

In order to renew, follow the same steps as receiving your first ID card. However, if you make an appointment within the last 90 days BEFORE it’s expiration, the ID itself counts as one of your two forms of ID.

When will I use it?


Most bases are at FPCON Bravo, meaning that there is a 100% ID check at the gate.

If you try to get on base unaccompanied, you will most likely need to have either a visitors pass or a military ID. Since the ID’s last significantly longer than a visitor pass (4 years vs one day), getting an ID is definitely worth it.

PRO TIP: This includes going off base on foot (like on a run) or on a bike. ALWAYS have your card with you when you leave base!

Nearly every store on base requires to see a military ID before you pay. This includes the PX/BX/NEX/MCX, some gas stations, and the commissary.


When you attend doctors appointments off base, they may require to see your ID in order to process your Tricare insurance.

Your ID is also the proof you need to receive military discounts at restaurants and stores.

Brand new to military spouse life? Find out the most important lesson I’ve learned as a military spouse!

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