DOD allows remote extension of ID cards

Is your military ID card expiring, but with social distancing and various stay-at-home orders in effect, you aren’t sure whether you’ll be able to renew it?

The Department of Defense has changed the process to allow service members and civilians to temporarily extend the life of their cards as the nation battles the COVID-19 pandemic. These extended cards that appear expired on their face can continue to be used for access to benefits, including health care and entry to installations and buildings and to systems and networks.

Matthew P. Donovan, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, and the Joseph D. Kernan, undersecretary of defense for intelligence and security, released the policy changes in memos published April 7 and April 16. The temporary policies are in place through Sept. 30.

The changes allow people to adhere to social distancing practices by updating or renewing their ID cards from their homes with no need to visit an ID card issuing office. Normally, DOD issues between 18,000 and 20,000 ID cards each day at more than 1,600 sites around the world.

Under these new COVID-19 response processes, common access cards, known as CACs, that expire on or after April 16, 2020, and are within 30 days of expiration may have the certificates updated using ID Card Office Online to allow for continued use for logical access through Sept. 30, according to an April 16 Donovan memo. However, officials emphasize that individuals must extend their certificates before the printed expiration date on their CAC.

Individuals must continue to visit an ID card office for first-time CAC issuance, for replacement of a CAC that has already expired, and for CAC PIN resets.

ID card issuance offices will not reissue an ID card simply because of printed changes, the most common being a name change or promotion.

DOD can remotely issue first-time uniformed services IDs — for example, dependent or retiree IDs. DOD also can remotely replace lost or stolen uniformed services dependent and retiree IDs. Remotely-issued uniformed services ID cards will be issued with an expiration date not to exceed one year from the date it’s issued. This does not apply to CACs.

The minimum age for initial family member IDs has increased from 10 to 14.

Continued use of reserve-component uniformed services ID cards to obtain active duty benefits is authorized for mobilized reservists and their eligible dependents.

For more information go to DOD Response to COVID-19 — DOD ID Cards and Benefits at

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