Military ID Cards at Age 65

Dec 29 2010

Published by at 12:45 pm under Military Benefits

Should you get a new military ID card at age 65 or not? We recommend yes. Technically, it’s not required but it may save you some grief down the line.

ID cards for retired military members have an “indefinite” expiration date on the front of the card. On the back of the card is an expiration date for medical benefits that expires the month prior to you turning age 65. While your entitlement and access to medical benefits do not end after the expiration date, it could cause problems if you don’t update your card.

We recently received an email from a member who told us of his trip to the base pharmacy. He still used his original retired ID card with an expired medical date on the back. His card was confiscated by the pharmacy. Turns out, the base hospital implemented a local policy to confiscate cards in an effort to get cards updated for those over 65 years old.

In this fast paced, ever changing world, military ID cards have undergone several updates over the years, photos get old, and some service providers won’t understand the date on the back doesn’t render the card expired. People aren’t ID card experts. An expired date means one thing to most; game over. Save yourself the potential grief and get a new card.



The plan to remove Social Security Numbers from military ID cards continues.  The plan is in three stages.  Stage One was implemented as of 2008; the removal of SSN from DEPENDENT ID cards.  As dependents update their cards on normal expiration dates, their new cards will not have SSNs.  Stage Two is under way; the replacement of SSN on military member’s ID Card with a new DOD ID number.  Stage Three is replacing the SSN in ID card bar coding systems.  Total completion date is 2012.  See this DOD memo for the details:

Each base is proceeding at different speeds so we don’t know the implementation status at each base.  Expect differences.  Want to find out the status at your base?  Search for your nearest ID card office and phone number on this site and call the ID card office for details;

44 responses so far

44 Responses to “Military ID Cards at Age 65”

  1. CAPT Eugene Erneron 12 Jan 2011 at 2:00 pm

    There is no cure for stupidity when it comes to dealing with the bureaucracy!

  2. Walter Bawellon 12 Jan 2011 at 2:01 pm

    I have been retired since 1992. My wife and I spend most of our time in Germany. Today, we went to Wiesbaden Army Airfield to renew my wife’s ID card since hers was confiscated at the base due to an expired date. Although a retired dependent, her ID card was issued for only 2 years. We aske about this, but were told this was the latest policy. Is this correct and if not who do we contact? Thanks

    Colonel Walter A. Bawell, USA, (ret.)

  3. Wilfred L. Hunton 12 Jan 2011 at 2:10 pm

    What is it going to take to get ID cards without our social security numbers on them? We also need our Medicare cards to use something other than the social security number to identify us. These changes are necessary to prevent ID theft.

    This concerns me more than most, I would imagine, because I have already been a victim of ID theft.

  4. JohnJ.Ronanon 12 Jan 2011 at 2:10 pm

    Where do I get a Military ID having served for 17 years in both WW!! and Korea and reserve. Thanks John Ronan

  5. CMSgt(Ret) George Moseson 12 Jan 2011 at 2:18 pm

    I don’t know of anybody in the Pharmachy system who is authorized to confiscate one’s ID Card. The only agency authorized to confiscate your ID Card is the Security Forces in the Air Force and the Military Police in the other services. I have maintained my original retired ID Card and even though it says “NO” for civilian care on the back, I have never encountered any problems. I think this issue of getting a new ID Card at age 65 is overblown and only causes more of a workload on ID card issuing agencies.

  6. MAJ (R) James W. Hawkinson 12 Jan 2011 at 2:29 pm

    I will turn 67 this month and live overseas. I found this information extremely informative and useful. Many military offices do not know the facts about this, especially those in Embassies overseas.

  7. OKJack™Group™on 12 Jan 2011 at 2:46 pm

    That’s an interesting anecdote about an MTF pharmacy confiscating an unexpired DD Form 2 (Retired?Property of US Government). We wonder what the end of said story is, and more importantly?what the number of the statute or regulation is (and where we can find a copy)…that delegates authority to an MTF pharmacist to do what the author relates that he was told occurred.

    Middle & Working Class Disabled American Veterans
    We Paid the Dues that Aren’t Required!™

  8. Dick Culbertsonon 12 Jan 2011 at 2:54 pm

    I retired and was issued a “green” retired ID card in April 1975. The expiration says “Indefinite” on the front and nothing like you indicate on the back. I have checked with the local ID issuing people and they all tell me it is still valid.

    What gives??

  9. Arthur Whittumon 12 Jan 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Renewed my USCG retired ID card last year after 31 years “retired”. Went from being a member of the Armed Forces of the United States to a member of the United States Uniformed Services. I guess that’s to be more inclusive. Heck, I hardly broke the “70’s barrier”. Picture was a little out of date on the old one though, so it was time. But I’m inclined to be a little hostile towards anyone trying to “confiscate” my ID – they’d better have ‘chapter and verse’ ready.

  10. Tom Culpepperon 12 Jan 2011 at 3:21 pm

    I am afraid that the pharmacy person would not have confiscated my ID Card, I do not give that up easily. I am like OKJack, I want to see the regulation on paper that says a pharmacist can take up my ID card. I will however renew mine at 65, in fact one month prior to me turning 65 if they will let me.

  11. Stephanieon 12 Jan 2011 at 3:33 pm

    DODI 1000.24, May 22, 2003 allows for MTF personnel to confiscate an expired ID. They are required in this DODI to confirm validity of the card and “to take control of it” if it is expired or fraudulent.

  12. Tom Wegleitneron 12 Jan 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Should we get this the month our medical benefits expire or after our 65th bithday. For example, I am 65 this July. When should I get the new card.

  13. Richard Mencarinion 12 Jan 2011 at 3:59 pm

    This happened to me a month ago when getting a temporary base pass at McChord. The gate gave me a pass to go only to get a new ID. The person who processed my new ID said it was not necessary but a good idea to avoid any future problem. One benefit was that I got a base sticker which was located next to where I got the new ID. It did take about two hours out of my schedule but was worth it to avoid this in the future.

  14. Michaelon 12 Jan 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Check out this website for info on Retiree ID



  15. Michaelon 12 Jan 2011 at 4:21 pm

    Correction: The above is the correct url. The other did not transfer correctly.


  16. John Eddyon 12 Jan 2011 at 4:33 pm

    I went and updated my ID on Jan 20, 2010 prior to my 65th birthday. Not for the reason mentioned (Medical Exp. Date) which on mine now says indefinite. I went because the Gov’t said they were going to change form Social Security Number (SS#) to a non SS #. That did not happen. What is the hold up on that implementation?

  17. Mike Paradison 12 Jan 2011 at 4:38 pm

    This is a timely article for all of us retired military folks. I read the atricle and thought that it only applied to others, certainly not me. Oh, how wrong I was. I looked at the back of my card and ‘lo and behold’ there it was, it expired 2 years ago just before my 65th birthday.
    The card didn’t expire, just my …acces to a military treatment facility (MTF) loosely translated medicial, pharmacy and dental. Since 1993 and the transition to USFHP (Hillary Care) I haven’t made it to a MTF because there was no need. I could have been travelling out of state and been carded by a pharmacist’s assistant and then where would I have been. SOL most likely. I would have thought that DEERS might have sent me a dunning notice to at least embarass me.
    So the next time you plan to be on base and over the age of 65 get the card changed. Plan ahead and leave time to GET ‘ER DONE.

  18. Kathy Bruyereon 12 Jan 2011 at 5:09 pm

    I have it on my ” to do ” list to get a new card this year….although I’ll miss the nostalgic comments from some folks who see my old ( 16 years now ) card, and say it brings back fond memories. The card has become more of a conversation piece, which is nice in this day and age.

  19. Allen Baderon 12 Jan 2011 at 5:29 pm

    The back of my card does not have an expiration date for benefits. I guess I’m disqualified.

  20. Don Picardon 12 Jan 2011 at 5:38 pm

    I am baffled. If I get a new ID card, what will be changed on the back? I am already over 65.

  21. D F Rustchak, CDR(LDO), USN, reton 12 Jan 2011 at 6:18 pm

    When I turned 65, it was time to shift to Medicare, and to sign up for Part B. I knew that because it had been explained along the road to me, probably during TAP or during my new ID card issuance upon retirement, and the Medical expiraton date on the back of my ID card reminded me.

    I got a ned ID caard at that time and was signed up by the Personnel Office for Tricare for Life.

    Unless the procedures have changed in some way, the person who had their card confiscated may not have been signed up to Tricare for Life. Pharmacy useage won’t expose that missing link.

    So although I wonder the same as OK Jack Group, the MTF may have unknowingly (or knowingly) done them a favor.

  22. Col Robert Scott AF Ret.on 12 Jan 2011 at 7:53 pm

    As a retired Hospital Commander wih a slightly outdated military medical antenna, I think you can bet your bottom dollar that the little pharmacy pick up trick was either comitted by a very low rankingn not too smart, individual or approved by a very high ranking officer at a high level with suooorting statistics. No military pharmacist I ever knew would even consider approving that OER buster.

  23. Raymond Eganon 12 Jan 2011 at 11:07 pm

    Do you have the same recommendation for dependents who turn 65?

  24. Jim Trittenon 12 Jan 2011 at 11:30 pm

    I recently turned 65 and went to Kirtland AFB to get a new retired ID card. I thought the reason was because of the indefinite expiration date issue addressed in this blog but also because of the need to modify the authorization for civilian care also on the back. My new card still says indefinite expiration on both sides and still says that I am authorized civilian medical care. Now maybe I had it wrong and those were not the reasons I was supposed to get a new ID card. I also filled out a form and listed my new weignt. Instead, I got a weight on my new card that was not what I listed nor was it what was on my old card. So as far as I can tell, I did what I was supposed to do, got a new card with the same expiration and authorization, and an incorrect weight. Oh well, the picture is more up to date. Maybe that is the real reason I needed a card. Also, just read that all ID cards with your full SSAN are supposed to be changed to the last four. Mine shows the full number. Confused? Me too!

  25. Scot Tiernanon 13 Jan 2011 at 12:05 am

    I have had my military id refused by TSA for boarding a plane due to the “expiraton date”. TSA apparenty looks for an expiration date as one of the required items. I am not sure if they will ever accept the fact that retired id does not expire.

  26. Capt Ronald Kriel USNon 13 Jan 2011 at 12:20 am

    One thing that was not mentioned above about good reasons to get new ID cards. It is my understanding that social security numbers no longer appear on the retired military ID card. If this is correct, here is an important reason to get rid of that information from you wallet. My wife’s purse was stolen a couple of years ago (Apr 08) and the thiefs got her military ID card and her social security number. We immediately subscribed to LifeLock and locked all of the credit agencies for our account. While we did not suffer any losses, other than the constant hassle of trying to get all of the forged checks reported properly. We stopped the checking accounty immediately and opened a new one. Also we contacted the credit card companies. My concern is that, since the photos are of such poor quality, or someone could claim to be a dependent, and receive free medical care at Maxwell AFB.

    We tried to report the theft to Ft. Benning, but could find no was to contact anyone who could help us.

    Anyway, if the SSN has been removed from the card this would be a big pluss.

  27. Steve Fergusonon 13 Jan 2011 at 7:16 am

    That would be the beginning of WWIII if someone confiscated my military ID. I don’t think this is a true anecdote.

  28. T. Miller, Roswell, GAon 13 Jan 2011 at 9:41 am

    Thanks for all this info. I am going out to check my ID card now. I did not know we needed to up date or our cards could be confiscated. We need to be careful with this, especially since we have all these issues with the new health care bill and I know the government would like to get out of having to pay for our medical care. If they confiscate ID’s and do not give them back then we are going to have to go through a lot of hoops to get ID’s replaced. I know most of us have DD214’s but it will be just the inconvenience. Infact, if you can, make a wallet size copy of your DD214 and carry it with you at all times. It is as good as an ID card and maybe even better.

  29. MSG Harry B Groffon 13 Jan 2011 at 6:26 pm

    I Retired in 1991, on the rear of my ID card it has expiration date of Dec 1995, I have never been denied admittance to any civilian or military or VA facilities. Should I get my card renewed?

  30. Tim Godfreyon 13 Jan 2011 at 6:30 pm

    What is the latest re mil issuance of new ID Cards Without Social Security Numbers on them? I retired from the AK Air Nat’l Guard when I turned age 60 2 years ago but no one can give me any updated information. This has also been a MAJOR concern of mine since I became the victim of ID theft in Oct 2008. I DO NOT WANT MY SSAN IN MY WALLET. Yet the military continues to delay implementation of issuance of new mil ID cards w/o SSAN’s.
    Tim Anchorage AK

  31. Larry Nealon 14 Jan 2011 at 12:53 pm

    I guess I was enlisted for too long, so I did what any good EM would do. I followed directions and got my card updated before my 65th birthday because it was going to expire. I also was told that I needed to get the card updated for TFL and Medicare.

    I just took a quick look at my cards and the only two that have my SSN on them are USUS and Medicare. How wonderful that the United States Government seems to be the only entity that doesn’t care if someone grabs my SSN.

  32. J. H. Creraron 14 Jan 2011 at 1:05 pm

    It would be helpful if MOAA picked up some of the questions in these replies(e.g. “When is MEDICARE going to remove SSNs?”) and answered them.

  33. R.A. Buggon 14 Jan 2011 at 1:30 pm

    I would like to clarify the original purpose of the expiration date on the reverse of the military ID card. Some of you might not be familiar with the term CHAMPUS, Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniform Services. When you would turn 65, no more civilian health care was authorized, now you would fall under Medicare. With the closing of so many military health facilities and the Tricare for Life thing civilian health care does not expire. So the ID Card form is obsolete. Some civilian health clinics and hospitals see the expired date and will refuse the card. If one would explain the CHAMPUS thing to them and show the front of the card says “Indefinite,”
    maybe that will satisfy them. It worked for me, this year I went to a medical clinic that I had been dealing with for 4 years, and was 71. The receptionist looked at the back of the card while updating my records and told me the card had expired (some 6 years ago). I explained to her all the above and everything was fine. I was involved in issuing ID cards at Ft Lee and hate to say it but DOD needs to modify the card for Tricare for Life if they haven’t already and inform all who have expiration dates on the reverse to have the ID renewed. If the card said TRICARE FOR LIFE on the reverse no explanation would ever be necessary.

  34. R.A. Buggon 14 Jan 2011 at 1:39 pm

    I need to add that Champus usage would mean the military would pay the expenses for the care, this would shift to Medicare at 65.

  35. Greg Radlinski, CDR, JAGC, USN (Ret.)on 14 Jan 2011 at 4:39 pm

    CDR Rustchak and Mr. Neal are correct. Retired personnel and their dependents should get new ID cards shortly before the month they turn 65. As explained in the 2009 Tricare Standard Health Matters, the 2009 annual publication for Tricare Standard beneficiaries, “Once you have Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B, verify that your record in the Defense Eligibility and Enrollment Reporting System (DEERS) has been updated to reflect this change. While CMS automatically sends Medicare updates to DEERS, you should verify that the information has been correctly received.”

    While the front of a retiree’s ID card may have an “indefinite” expiration date, there is an expiration date for medical coverage on the reverse. For those who have not reached age 65, the medical coverage expiration date is the last day of the month before they turn 65. To avoid having to argue with doctors and hospitals about whether you have medical coverage and TFL upon turning 65, simply up date the “indefinite” ID. Bring proof of enrollment in Medicare Part B (for which one may apply as early as three months before turning 65) to your ID card issuing authority and that authority will verify that DEERS recognizes you as entitled to TFL, and issue you the latest version of the military ID card. Same rules apply to dependents.

    Of course, you don’t have to follow Tricare’s recommendation. You can try to use the card issued upon retirement, and bluster and complain when hospitals reject it as proof of insurance or CMS doesn’t forward a claim to TFL and the doctor bills roll in. But why go through th hassle? Get the new ID card and save yourself and your dependents the stress and exasperation.

  36. MKon 14 Jan 2011 at 6:15 pm

    I learned yesterday that my retired military ID is not sufficient identification to gain admittance to a Federal building in DC. The officer at the desk requested another Federal Government issued ID. Several years ago, I learned that the military ID is not acceptable proof of citizenship, either — FEMA refused to accept it as an ID. So be warned, the military retired ID is not necessarily accepted by other Federal Agencies.

  37. Emilyon 14 Jan 2011 at 8:14 pm

    How do I get my husbands ID card renewed since he is in a nursing home wih alzheimer’s and could care less, but I do if it is going to cause problems later. I had a hard enough time renewing my own ID card since he is unable to travel and couldn’t physically be there with me. Thank God, I am 75 now and my card was issue permanently…maybe I should look on the back of my card. Is this a trick or too good to be true that the card doesn’t have an expiration date?

  38. CDR Don Ohnemus USN Reton 15 Jan 2011 at 10:37 am

    Years ago, when I was the Admin officer in an aviation squadron, an employee in a Navy Exchange confiscated the ID card of one of our sailors. She said it was because the card was in bad condition and the XO of the base told them to do it. I researched the matter in the BUPERS manual and determined that the only reason a servicemember was required to surrender his/her ID card was to identify his/herself. My squadron XO called the base XO and gave him an earful. The confiscations stopped.

  39. Billon 15 Jan 2012 at 7:01 pm

    AFI 36-3026(I), page 40 (the same regulation is used for all services, and but is numbered differently by each parent service) contains provisions regarding confiscation of ID cards.

    The reference provided above applies to ALL services. Verifying officials, commissioned or noncommissioned officers, military police, security members, or base entry controllers can confiscate an ID card that is expired, being fraudulently used, presented by a person not entitled to its use. mutilated or illegible.

    I used to confiscate expired ID cards, ID cards being carried by demoted personnel (sorry, you knew to get one when you were promoted … should have been your first stop when you were busted) and IDs presented by former spouses no longer entitled to them (I worked at USAF base legal and knew the rules better than most) and turn them in to the Military Personnel Flight.

    Of note: Paragraph 1.14.1. The cardholder who is told that they are in possession of an ID card that is questionable because the card is mutilated, expired, being used fraudulently, altered, etc., shall be advised that they may request a supervisor review the confiscation decision. I always made that notification, and my calls were always upheld.


  40. Paul R. Harrisonon 09 Feb 2012 at 8:44 am

    I left the Navy 16 May 1972. I was issued a red ID card which I still have. I would like to get another ID card updated to current standards. I was only active for 4 yr. 2 mos. and was discharged honorably. Is it possible to go to the McConnell AFB in Wichita, Kansas to obtain a new card? If so, where do I go and what is req’d for proof of service (i.e., dd-214 form). Thanks for you help and support. Go Navy!

  41. Bob Barnardon 04 Aug 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Does anyone know how to get a new ID based on a rank other than that listed on DEERS. Deers is based on retired pay but my current ID rank is based on a higher rank on a different DA retired list. I turn 65 next month and need to address this.


  42. Charlene Porton 29 Sep 2012 at 1:21 am

    My dependent ID card expired may 2012. I been trying to get a new one but I do not have the time to drive clear up to Fort Carson and wait all day. Today was my 3rd attempt and got tired of waiting. The first time I forgot two forms of ID, the second time too long wait time. I tried the appointment system and it said problem loading page. I like to say forget the drama but there may be a time I may need the updated ID card!

  43. Gloria Authon 22 May 2014 at 8:39 am

    I recently found out that a spouse of a retired reservist has an “indefinite” military ID at the age of 65. I am the widow of a military retiree. I must wait until I’m 75 to get an indefinite ID. If I remarry, I will loose my ID and Tri Care for Life. It does’t seem fair that a reservist can get an indefinite ID at 65 and an active duty – 22 years – retiree – Silver Star –
    surviving spouse must wait till 75.

  44. Shane Ostrom, CFP®on 22 May 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Gloria, only incapacitated dependents and those 75 and older can get indefinite ID Cards. There are two expiration date areas on an ID Card–one on front and one on back. At age 65 and over, you could have indefinite on the back for health care reasons but an expiration date on the front side. Shane

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