Yeah, about those new veteran ID cards that were approved by Congress through a bit of legislation last summer … yeah. About those.
According to officials at the Department of Veterans Affairs, the latest is that they won’t be actually physically available for vets until next year — so 2017. They say the “rule-making process” is still a year away, not to mention production and issuing, which don’t even have schedules at the moment.
The bill, which was sponsored by Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) flew through Congress last July. Vern extolled the need for an easy identifier for veterans when dealing with dealing with non-federal entities (most notably private businesses and discounts), instead of carrying around discharge papers and trying to prove the “this and the that”.
It’s been reported that vets will need to pay a “small fee” for the card when it’s ready to be doled out.
For a physical ID, sure, this option should be fine. But it’s clearly not as convenient as a digital ID, which are offered to military personnel through companies like ID.me. And, are available NOW, rather than down the road.
This from the Army Times:
“This is a lengthy process that requires time for a public comment period as well as approval from the Office of Management and Budget,” officials said in a statement this week. “VA currently estimates the program will be implemented in 2017.”
No veterans will be required to get the IDs, and the cards will not replace medical IDs or official defense retiree cards. Supporters called it a simple way to honor veterans’ service.