Veterans can again submit online applications for new identification cards through the Department of Veterans Affairs website after the system was taken down in December following rollout problems.
The purpose of the identification cards is to help veterans prove their military history without having to carry around their DD-214 certificates, which contain sensitive information. The new IDs do not replace VA medical cards or defense retiree cards, nor do they qualify as official government-issued identification.
As of Jan. 29, the VA was processing 14,609 applications for the cards, said VA spokesman Curt Cashour. Any veteran who served in the armed forces, including in the reserves, and has an honorable or general discharge can request them.
High demand for the cards crashed a VA webpage in December, when some veterans were met with error messages or a webpage that failed to load. The VA temporarily stopped the online application process and asked veterans seeking new ID cards to leave their email addresses, stating they’d be notified when they could apply.
Now, the online application process has resumed to all veterans. Cashour said veterans are no longer being asked to leave their email addresses.
Veterans can apply at the Vets.gov website and will be asked to create an online account.
Veterans who have applied will start receiving their cards in early March, Cashour said. In the meantime, approved veterans can download an image of their IDs and print them or download them to their mobile phones.
In 2015, Congress ordered the VA to create the cards to make it easier for veterans to receive certain benefits such as discounts at stores and restaurants.
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