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How to Get a Military ID

As an Army wife, your military ID card is one of the most essential documents you will ever have in your possession while your soldier serves in the Army. It serves as your way to access the post, allows you to shop in the commissary and PX, serves as your insurance card and can sometimes entitle you to valuable military discounts.

Who is eligible?

  • Spouse (wives and husbands)
  • Widows who have never remarried
  • Unmarried children who are 10-21 (or up to age 23 for college students)
  • Disabled unmarried children over the age of 21 who cannot support themselves
  • Parents who rely on the soldier for more than half of their monetary support monthly

Your husband likely was instructed by his recruiter to take his marriage certificate, birth certificate and other pertinent paperwork with him to reception (time before he begins basic training). While he is in reception, your soldier will enroll each dependent (as stated above) in DEERS (Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System). He will complete DD Form 1172 so that each dependent can obtain an ID.

Your soldier will then mail this form to you. When you receive it (which may take several weeks or longer), proceed to the nearest military base. You do not have to go to an Army post. I had my ID made at an Air Force base as it was closest to my home.

It seems that every ID station has different requirements. I only had to have the DD Form 1172 to have my ID made. Others have had to show birth certificates or a power of attorney. Be safe and take all of your documentation with you or call ahead and ask.

If you are not close to a military installation, you can always wait until you go for your husband’s graduation or until he gets to his first duty station. Just keep in mind that you will not be able to take advantage of any military benefits without your ID.

Find the closest military base to have your military ID made.

About the author: Stacey is an Army wife of a soldier who joined in 2003. He has since been medically retired but she continues to provide information to Army wives and families to make their adjustment to the Army lifestyle easier. Connect with Stacey: Facebook Twitter Pinterest

{ 41 comments… add one }
  • Frank Dzielecki November 13, 2010, 10:46 am

    Why is it that Veterans cannnot purchase a ID Card just for ID purpose. Veterans Day just passed and different places like abblebees were giving free dinners to veterans with proff of service…..There is no place to write to our government and get a id Card….. I served in the service why dont we have id cards showing our years of commitment……….

    • Hersel Wann January 26, 2012, 8:37 am

      I would like an ID card also, but I have no clue how to get one. Have had any success yet?

      • Mister IDCard March 7, 2012, 1:43 pm

        If you got out without 20 years of service or are not medically retired, you will not receive a military ID. You cannot purchase a military ID card. HOWEVER: if you are indeed a veteran of the US armed forces, contact the Veteran’s Administration (VA). SOME locations will make you a VA ID card. I do not know if these carry the “perks” you are looking for. IF you still have your DD214 form showing you were on active duty, that might suffice on veteran’s day, but it is not a promise. The Department of War Records should have a copy if your old unit doesn’t.

    • Jennifer Jefferson June 30, 2015, 2:36 pm

      All you need to show is your DD214 and you will get all the Verterns Day deals.

  • Doris Banks May 24, 2011, 3:20 pm

    Telephone lines continue to be busy so I am posting my question here. My son is in Iraq and his son (4 yrs old) has his ID card. He is in the Deers program. The mother (not married) has a State ID only. Is this the only ID that she will need to take the child on base for medical needs? Please email asap with your response. Thank you!

  • Christine Maloney December 27, 2011, 2:36 am

    Does it cost anything to get the military I’d? My husband is in the Army and I haven’t gotten one yet and I just wanted to know if it caust any money.

    • Stacey December 27, 2011, 10:37 pm

      No, it doesn’t cost anything.

  • carol thorne March 6, 2012, 10:33 am

    I live next to the navel Reserve in roanoke 5301 farm Roanoke VA. why is it doen every time I call to get my ID card REN they say system is down this has bee going on for A month now.

  • My name is Alfreda I had gotten a honorable discharge it been last then 20 yrs and I'm entiitled to a new I'd to show at commentary? May 10, 2012, 10:23 am

    I was in the service last then 20 yr ago I’m trying to see I’m eligible to get my I’d card renewed to be able to shop at the commentary !if so where I’m in arabi, Louisiana

  • Zachary LaFollette July 25, 2012, 8:07 am

    On account of me being so busy. Can my wife go get her card by herself? If i give her the proper documents

    • Stacey July 26, 2012, 7:04 pm

      Yes, just call ahead and make sure what she needs to take. Some offices have different requirements and some will require a POA.

  • Lisa October 26, 2012, 8:54 pm

    my spouse is recently become a veteran. as his spouse can I still get a military id for shopping on the base.

  • Patricia Gardner October 29, 2012, 9:18 pm

    We were married recently my husband has his ID but due to illness he is not with me when i shop. One merchant susjested that I get my own ID. Is this possible and what and how do i do this.

    Thank you Mrs M W Gardnew

  • Ana February 17, 2013, 2:11 am

    My husband has been in BCT for two weeks now & I haven’t received any paper work. I’m concern because I’d like to have my military ID before his graduation. Will I have my military ID before he’s done with BCT?

    • Stacey February 17, 2013, 7:08 pm

      I don’t know why you wouldn’t have time to get it beforehand. But even if you don’t have it by graduation, it’s not a big deal.

  • jessica kopay March 5, 2013, 2:32 pm

    how would my mom obtain a military spouse id?? my dad served in the army and vietnam, and has since been retired. can anyone help?

  • Britt Roberts March 6, 2013, 3:56 am

    After going to the office to complete the paper work for the insurance and ID card, how soon will I have the ID card in my hands?
    Do they mail it out like the state drivers license? Or will I get it at the time of completing the paper work?

    • Britt Roberts March 6, 2013, 3:58 am

      I’m the soldiers wife, and he’s away at BCT. Can I get this ID before he graduation next month?

  • anne wood March 26, 2013, 9:35 am

    Ok my husband is now half way through ait and I still haven’t been mailed the papers for gettin my military id how do I get my military id while he’s in ait ? Would really appropriate an answer soon since we have a son who is 4 months. Thank u. And thank u for all thoses who have and are serving.

    • Stacey March 27, 2013, 3:50 pm

      You can call the post to see what you can do if you don’t have that form – not sure what the answer is on that one. Your best bet is to ask your husband to send the form to you.

  • Karen W March 28, 2013, 8:20 am

    My husband passed away 2 years ago. He was 100% total permanent disabled. I had a dependent ID card prior to his death, but it is about to expire in a few months. Am I eligible for renewal if the veteran has passed away?

    • Stacey April 24, 2013, 12:29 pm

      Yes, I believe so as long as you are not remarried.

  • Amy Huggins January 27, 2014, 2:10 pm

    I was wondering how do or where do I get my I.D. I the where I live in California there’s a town called Santa Rosa. I think you can get them there but not sure about where they are located at.. If you have that Info that would be great.. If not the I can go to the recruiting station!! Thank you very much… 🙂

  • crystal January 29, 2014, 2:26 pm

    My daughter just left for basic training, I would like to know if I could get a military id as her dependent?

    • Stacey Abler February 1, 2014, 9:22 pm

      She would have to be able to prove that she is providing at least 50% of your financial support in order to be able to apply for the possibility of you being her dependent.

  • gracie oliver September 19, 2014, 6:00 pm

    i was wondering my husband will be 60 in 2 years and he said that he will be getting his retirement id my question is we used to live in okla and now we live in fla does he have to go to okla to get his retirement id and do i have to go with him to get one for me?

  • Lee Pitlock September 30, 2014, 7:04 pm

    Recently I received a copy of a military ID from a woman selling a truck, and she is stationed at Fort Belvoir. Her name on the emailed ID is Corporal Melany Hopkins. I was told by foia that there is no Melany Hopkins in th army. This Melany Hopkins sent me her phone # and email address and references Ft. Belvoir in her emails. What can I do? Thank you.

    • Lori November 5, 2014, 11:18 am

      I have been in contact with a Melany Hopkins trying to sell a truck that she states is in Virginia. Trying to determine if she is a fraud or what now that I’ve seen your post and am not comfortable with differences in info between the carfax and cert of title she sent me. What was your experience with her?

  • Misty Garza November 16, 2015, 11:37 am

    Hi, I was wondering how getting a military ID works. I was told that I was to go to a city near me to get the military ID and than I read up on it here and it says I have to wait for my husband to send me a form.

    Right now we are still in the process of going through the paperwork, ASVAB, MEPS, & boot camp. So I am fairly new to all of this. At the recruiting station they are asking for my birth certificate, social, ID, and our marriage certificate. Are they asking for all that because they are already going to enroll me in DEERS?

  • Belinda January 7, 2016, 1:49 am

    My husband passed away a year ago he was a army veteran if so can I or how could I obtain an spouse military I’d thank you in advance

  • Alba Marrrro Morales July 27, 2016, 8:40 pm

    I’m a army veteran going to a VA clinic, I have a VA ID card can I use it at the local post PX? Thank You

  • celeste September 13, 2016, 11:32 am

    My boyfriend just got his orders for his first duty station, we are planning on getting married as soon as he gets leave so he can take me with him. my question is, is it possible for me to get a Military ID before we actually get married? if not, is there anything we can do to in order to make the process of me going with him to his duty station faster?

  • Dassoundo November 18, 2016, 11:55 am

    Im in US Army…
    Is that possible to get military ID card without a social security for my wife?

  • Dawn Johnson-Nichols February 16, 2017, 2:14 am

    My husband was in the army but had been discharged when we married in 1995. I never inquired about getting a spousal ID to get on base to shop as I wasn’t aware of the ID nor did I get our son a dependent ID. My husband passed last March so I’m inquiring to see if we’re still eligible for the ID to get on base to shop at the commissary,’.

    • Stacey Abler June 19, 2017, 10:51 pm

      I’m sorry to hear about your husband. If he was retired, you should be able to get an ID.

  • Lourdes castillo September 10, 2017, 9:42 pm

    I would like to know the cost and what all I have to do to get a wife id but I am not married to my spouse yet

    • Stacey Abler September 20, 2017, 12:27 pm

      There is no cost. Once you’re married, he can go with you to the office on post to apply for an ID. You’ll need a copy of your marriage certificate and 2 forms of ID.

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