The VHIC replaces the Veteran Identification Card (VIC) and will be issued only to Veterans who are enrolled in the VA health care system.
The VHIC is for identification and check-in at VA appointments. It cannot be used as a credit card or an insurance card, and it does not authorize or pay for care at non-VA facilities.
In February 2014, VA began issuing the VHIC to newly enrolled Veterans and enrolled Veterans who were not previously issued the old VIC but requested an identification card. VA will automatically mail the new VHIC to enrolled Veterans who were previously issued the old VIC; there is no action required by these Veterans in order to receive the new VHIC. Enrolled Veterans who were not issued the old VIC may contact their local VA medical center Enrollment Coordinator to arrange to have their picture taken for the new VHIC, or they may request a new VHIC at their next VA health care appointment.
VA expects to complete mailing of the replacement VHICs by Winter 2014. Because we will be reissuing more than 6 million VHICs, we ask for your patience during this time.
Important!! Veterans who are already enrolled should ensure the address VA has on file is correct so you can receive your VHIC in a timely manner. To update or to confirm your address with us, please call 1-877-222-VETS (8387). If the post office cannot deliver your VHIC, the card will be returned to the VA.
If you are not currently enrolled with the VA for your health care, we encourage you to apply for enrollment online at www.va.gov/healthbenefits/enroll or by calling 1-877-222-VETS (8387). You may also apply for enrollment in person at your local VA medical facility. Once your enrollment is verified (you will receive a Veteran Health Benefits Handbook welcoming you to the VA), you may have your picture taken at your local VA medical center so that a VHIC can be mailed to you.
VHICs are now being used to access U.S. military bases and in some cases, allows access through U.S. airport security. As a result, VA wants to assure that the new VHICs are issued appropriately and to the correct person. As of August 2014, to ensure your identity, VA has strengthened requirements to receive a new VHIC. Veterans must now provide one form of primary identification and one form of secondary identification when requesting a VHIC. Please see the Acceptable Identification Documents table below.
If you are a new enrollee and had your picture taken at a VA Medical facility, you should receive your VHIC within 7 to 10 days after you request a VHIC card. If you applied for enrollment and have not received confirmation of your enrollment status, we may be missing some information from you such as your military service or financial information, if that is required. Although we strive to do all we can to ensure we enroll Veterans in a timely manner, this missing information could result in a delay in processing your application for enrollment. If this is the case, we will try to contact you via telephone or mail to get the information we need to complete your enrollment application.
We encourage Veterans who are already enrolled to ensure that VA has the correct address on file for you. To verify that the address VA has for you is correct, or if you have any questions about the status of your VHIC, you may call your local VA medical facility where you receive your care or contact us at 1-877-222-VETS (8387). If your local VA medical facility has kiosks, you may also view and change your address using the kiosk. If you have moved or have a new address, please be sure VA has it so that you may receive your VHIC timely.
VA wants all enrolled Veterans to have a Veteran Health Identification Card that protects their personal information. Until Veterans receive the new, more secure VHIC, Veterans are encouraged to safeguard their old VIC, just like they would a credit card, to prevent unauthorized access to their identity information. Once the new VHIC is received, Veterans should destroy their old VIC by cutting it up or shredding it.
If your VHIC is lost or stolen, you should contact the VA Medical Facility where your picture was taken to request a new card be re-issued, or call us at 1-877-222-VETS (8387). Identifying information will be asked to ensure proper identification of the caller.
The old VICs and VHICs are acceptable forms of primary identification. Note that two forms of ID are now required, which means that the Veteran must have at least one primary and one secondary form of identification in order to receive a VHIC. The chart below lists the additional forms of identification which are acceptable primary and secondary identification.
|Primary Identification||Secondary Identification|
|Present ONE form of Primary Identification||Present ONE form of Secondary Identification|
|State-Issued Driver's License||Social Security Card|
|U.S. Passport or U.S. Passport Card (unexpired)||Original Social Security Card|
|Foreign passport with Form I-94 or Form I-94A (unexpired)||Certification of Birth Abroad Issued by the Department of State (Form FS-545)|
|U.S. Military card||Certification of Report of Birth issued by the Department of State (Form DS-1350)|
|Military dependent’s ID card||Voter’s Registration Card|
|U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Card||Native American Tribal Document|
|Foreign passport that contains a temporary I-551 stamp||U.S. Citizen ID Card (Form I-197)|
|Permanent Resident Card or Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I- 551)||Identification Card for Use of Resident Citizen in the United States (Form I-179)|
|Employment Authorization Document that contains a photograph (Form I- 766)||Employment Authorization document issued by the Department of Homeland Security|
|Canadian Driver’s License|