All honorably discharged veterans of every era are now able to get a photo identification card from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) starting in November, due to a law passed in 2015.

The law, known as the Veterans Identification Card Act 2015, directs the USDVA to issue a hard-copy, photo ID to any honorably discharged veteran who applies. The card must contain the veteran's name, photo and a non-Social Security identification number.

Veterans who want one of the new cards must first register online with Vets.gov, a website that authenticates users through ID.me, a third-party verification system. A timeline for how long it will take to receive a card after application has not yet been established.

There is presently no fee associated with issuance of the ID cards. Congress passed the ID law as a way to help veterans prove their service, without showing a copy of their DD-214. Those who receive health care from the VA or have a disability rating can get a photo ID VA health card, also known as a Veteran Health Identification Card. Military retirees also hold an ID card issued by the Defense Department. 

The Kings County Veterans Service Office can complete the DMV Veteran Status Verification Form for the California Veteran Designation on your driver’s license and also issues Veteran I.D. cards to honorably discharged veterans. Contact Scott Holwell at the email address provided below, if you would like to receive periodic veteran’s information by email.

There are many state and federal benefits and programs available to veterans and their dependents. To determine if you are eligible for any of these benefits, visit or call our office. We can and will assist you in completing all required application forms.

You can get information on the Web from the Kings County Veterans Service Office webpage at www.countyofkings.com/vets.

Scott Holwell, retired Navy Master Chief Petty Officer, is the Veterans Service Officer for Kings County. Send your questions to the Veterans Service Office, 1400 W. Lacey Blvd, Hanford, CA 93230; call (559)852-2669; or e-mail scott.holwell@co.kings.ca.us.

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