By Buddy Blouin
Having a military ID is important for a variety of reasons, with the core component involving national security. Because they expire, it’s important to understand how to renew your ID to remain current and avoid disciplinary action if you are a part of the U.S. military. You can renew military ID online and now, you can also renew through the mail. Using the mail to renew, however, is part of a new pilot program and can take much longer as the logistics are worked out. Learn more about military id renewal online, the new mail-in program, and the fastest method of renewing your ID.

Can I Renew My Military ID Online?

Yes, active-duty family members can renew military ID cards online. Previously, military ID card renewal online was available, but now, the new program is allowing military members to complete the order digitally from the beginning through the end. Before, to renew your military ID card online, the dependent ID cards needed to be obtained in person at a local ID card facility. However, under the new pilot program, renewed dependent IDs will be mailed to recipients. The processing and mailing of cards will be handled by the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC), rather than local ID card offices. Renewing your Uniformed Service ID Cards (USIDs) is mandatory and must be completed by a Common Access Card (CAC) holder. So far, renewing military ID online through the pilot program is still a work in progress and somewhat limited. As of this writing, it’s only available to "active" status troops. Since February 24, 2023, the program has been serving the U.S. military with plans to operate at least until September 30, 2024.

Qualifying for the Test Pilot Program

If the new program appeals to you, you’ll still need to make sure you qualify for its use. Again, this is a bit of a test phase, so not everyone can renew their military ID this way. Nevertheless, here are the requirements for service members and dependents, according to the DMDC’s guidelines on online USID card renewal:
  • Active-duty service members who sponsor renewals must have an active Common Access Card (CAC) that extends 30 days beyond the renewal request date.
  • The dependent ID cards to be renewed can’t be expired and must be active.
  • But they also must be expiring within 90 days.
  • Both the sponsor and cardholder must have current, active email addresses registered in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS).
  • The cardholder must also have a photo saved in DEERS that is not older than 12 years.
  • P.O. boxes are not accepted and cardholders must have an address in DEERS from either the continental U.S., Alaska, or Hawaii.

Note That the New Program May Take Longer Than You Expect

Because the process is new, it’s a bit unclear how long it’s going to take to renew military ID online using the program. This means that if you’re in a time crunch, other methods may be a better option. However, it is the hope that as the program continues to grow and flourish, not only will it find its way, but become more efficient in the process as well.

How to Renew Military ID Online With the Program

Sponsors can go to the ID Card Office Online site and click on "Family ID Cards" and then "Renew Family ID Cards” to get started. If successful, the Defense Manpower Data Center creates and mails your new card, rather than your local ID card office. Remember, the process can take a bit longer, especially in its infancy, but you’ll receive an email when your card is in the mail. Alternatively, if your renewal is not successful, you’ll also receive an email notifying you as such. Once you receive your new ID card, you’ll head back to the IDCO site to confirm that you received it. Remember, military ID cards are considered government property, meaning you’ll have to return your old ID cards. This can be done by either dropping it off at a local ID card office or mailing your old card to DMDC; DSC Attn: USID Card Returns; 2102 E 21st Street N.; Wichita, KS 67214. The program to renew military ID online may be new, but it’s yet another step the military takes toward modernization. We do virtually everything on the Internet, and having this method available can help military families keep up with renewal more effectively.




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