New pilot allows online renewal of some IDs, civilian retiree IDs no longer issued

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  • Defense Logistics Agency Public Affairs

Two changes to the issuing of Defense Department ID cards took effect in February.

A new pilot program allows family members of active duty, Reserve and retired service members to renew their Uniformed Services ID card online. USIDs grant access to installations and benefits such as health care and commissaries.

DOD also stopped issuing ID cards for DOD civilian retirees. Previously issued cards will remain valid through Aug. 31.

Pilot for online renewal

The pilot allows eligible USID cardholders to request renewals at the Identification Card Office Online website instead of in person at a Real-Time Automated Personnel Identification System site. Jerry Barb, Defense Logistics Agency physical security manager, said the change could be a significant time saver for families of DLA service members.

“Eligible cardholders can bypass the in-person wait time or scheduling challenges at Pass and ID Offices and receive their new USID in the mail,” he said.

To be eligible for online renewal, the active-duty, Reserve or retired military member sponsor must have a valid Common Access Card and be in active personnel status at least 30 days after the date of the renewal request.

USID cardholders must already be enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System and be verified by the sponsor within 90 days before the request. The cardholder must also have a photo in DEERS that was taken within the last 12 years and a mailing address that's not a post office box inside the continental United States, Hawaii or Alaska.

Renewals may not be done online for lost, stolen or missing USID cards.

The pilot will run through Sept. 30. More information is available at

Civilian retiree ID cards

DOD began issuing civilian retiree ID cards in 2009 but advancements in access control systems and procedures, as well as the REAL ID Act, have eliminated the need for DOD-issued IDs, according to a DOD memorandum on the change.

“This doesn’t mean retirees can’t still access DOD installations,” Barb said. “Many civilian retirees continue accessing DOD installations to use the gym or play a round of golf, and they can still do this by going through the installation’s visitor control process.”

Civilian retirees wanting to use DOD facilities can first register their REAL ID Act-compliant driver’s license at the installation’s Visitors Control Center, where they’ll also be asked to pass a background check. Civilian retirees will then be able to enter the complex by having their driver’s license scanned at the gate.

Civilian retirees without a REAL ID Act-compliant license can still gain access by presenting a different form of acceptable identification and be issued a one-time visitor pass or long-term local access badge depending on the purpose and frequency of their visit.

Visitors should also review the website for the installation they want to enter for installation-specific visitor control requirements.

(Editor's note: This article was originally published March 24, 2023)