VA’s ID card website is stuck on ‘We’re Sorry…’ again

But there are other ways to prove military service

Jonathan Kaupanger
January 30, 2018 - 1:16 pm
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Veterans Affairs says it can start taking applications for its new veteran ID card again.  Just don’t get too excited about getting your card anytime soon, because the sites not working...again. 

The VA’s technology infrastructure is old, so I wasn’t surprised to get the “We’re sorry.  We can’t process…” message on the agency’s Vets.gov site today, even though it was reported that the VA was processing applications again. (If you want to give it a shot, go to vets.gov, then at the bottom center of the page is the “apply for printed veteran ID card” button.)

As an Administrative Officer for the VA, I would often tell new hires to pack their patience when they would start the process of getting an employee ID card.  It would, on average, take three to five trips to the VA’s Central Office before getting a card.  And this is just dealing with a few hundred thousand people.  There are millions and millions of veterans who qualify for the new ID card.  There’s going to be a bit of a wait.

Military.com reported that as of Jan. 29, Veterans Affairs has processed 14,600 applications for ID cards.  In the article, VA Spokesperson Curt Cashour said that veterans would start getting the printed cards in early March.  Until then, vets with approved applications can download an image to either print or use on their mobile phones. 

VA has had time to figure this out; Congress passed the law stating the VA needed to do this in 2015.  And I’m sure they will get things sorted, but until then, there are other ways to prove that you are a vet, besides using your DD-214 all the time. 

You can use your Veteran Health ID Card, if you want.  These cards are only issued to vets who are enrolled with the VA for health care. If you don’t need to use VA for healthcare, ConnectingVets recently reported on a reason why it might be worth it to keep both your personal insurance and your VA healthcare status active.  You might have to have a physical from time to time, but it may be worth it.  Here’s where you can apply for VA health benefits.

Another way the VA can help is with a proof of service letter.  You can get this at the VA/DoD eBenefits website.  And this is a legal document that proves you received an honorable discharge, too. 

If you can use either the DoD’s Uniformed Services ID and Privilege Card or Civilian Retiree Card, then you probably already know about them.  Here’s some basic info, just in case.  Here’s a site where you can find the DoD ID card facility that's closest to you.

Most states have some type of veteran designation for drivers’ licenses.  I live in Virginia and did a quick Google search and this would be an option for proof.  Of course this does mean dealing with DMV’s, so maybe waiting on the VA isn’t such a bad idea?