DOD ID Offices Go Remote, Delay Card Expiration

The Pentagon wants to save you a trip to the ID card office.

More than 1,600 Defense Department identification offices push out about 18,000 to 20,000 cards each day that allow everything from base access to health care services. To cut down on the number of people visiting those offices during the coronavirus pandemic, DOD is revising its rules on ID cards until Sept. 30.

Common access cards, used by Active-duty and reserve component personnel, civilian employees, and some contractors, will only be issued or renewed if the card is within 30 days of expiration, according to guidance published April 7 by Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Matt Donovan. New CACs will not be printed for situations like promotions or name changes.

For military family members and retirees who hold uniformed services ID (USID) cards that expire between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30, 2020, their IDs will remain valid until Sept. 30 as long as they are still affiliated with DOD. If a cardholder leaves the DOD or is no longer eligible to receive those benefits, the Pentagon will verify those circumstances before taking expired IDs.

People who may be able to continue using their DOD ID cards after they expire include employees and their dependents who are turning 65, dependents who are turning 21, Guard and Reserve members and their dependents, and retiring service members and their dependents. Those who might need their first ID cards range from current and former spouses to children and stepchildren to employees’ parents.

Children must be 14 years old, not 10, to get their first USID card. Reservists can keep using their USID cards to get Active-duty benefits for themselves and their dependents when mobilized.

To keep people out of ID offices, DOD is letting cardholders handle those errands from afar.

“Remote USID card renewals and reissuance shall be expanded,” the document states. “Remote family member enrollment/eligibility updates are authorized. Remote USID card initial issuance for first-time card issuance or replacement of a lost/stolen ID is authorized. All remotely issued USID cards shall be issued with an expiration date not to exceed one year from the date of issuance.”