DoD

March 26, 2012

Copying military identification cards prohibited by law

Has anyone ever requested a photocopy of your military photo identification card? Did you know that photocopying any type of federal government ID card may be prohibited by law under TITLE 18 U.S.C. § 701: U.S. Code.

The law states: “Whoever manufactures, sells or possesses any badge, identification card or other insignia of the design prescribed by the head of any department or agency of the United States for use by any officer or employee thereof, or any colorable imitation thereof, or photographs, prints, or in any other manner makes or executes any engraving, photograph, print, or impression in the likeness of any such badge, identification card, or other insignia, or any colorable imitation thereof, except as authorized under regulations made pursuant to law, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.”

It is important to note that there are state and federal agencies that may legally require a copy of a military ID for authorized purposes such as verifying eligibility for TriCare, verifying eligibility for Veterans Administration benefits or services, or verifying active-duty or dependant military status for tax purposes. Government agencies have a duty to protect information in strict accordance to government policy, HIPPA and when applicable, the Privacy Act of 1974.

However, it is inappropriate for commercial establishments to make a photocopy of a military ID or Common Access Card. A military ID may be shown upon request, but if pressed for a photocopy of a military ID, the member may allow the requester to copy a driver’s license.

While the intentions of most businesses are benign when they request a photocopy of a military ID, the threat of future counterfeiting of a military ID is still present.

It is each Airman’s responsibility to do what can be done to protect personal information and that of others if necessary. Do not allow your military ID to be copied for commercial or unauthorized purposes.




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One Comment


  1. Steve

    Copying for many purposes particularly for medical and other service providers is authorized. This is addressed by DOD Instruction100.13 Section 6.1.7 which states: “Photocopying of the DD Forms 2, DD Form 1173, or DD Form 1173-1 to facilitate medical care processing, check cashing, or administering other military-related benefits to eligible beneficiaries are examples of authorized photocopying.”



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