Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02), a member of the U.S. Army Reserve, issued the following statement after introducing the Veteran's ID Card Act (H.R. 1598):
"Currently, only veterans who have served at least 20 years or have a service-connected disability are eligible to receive an official ID card from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). My bill would enable all veterans to obtain an ID card through the VA at no cost to U.S. taxpayers. These cards will help employers verify a veteran's military service, reduce the potential for identity theft, and aid veterans in proving their eligibility for discounts and promotions offered by businesses to America's heroes."
Veterans who do not currently qualify for a VA-issued ID card must carry a paper DD-214 form to prove their veteran status. This document contains a veteran's social security number, date and place of birth, selective service number, and service details. While this is appropriate information for the official DD-214 document, carrying this information puts veterans at risk of identity theft.
The Veteran's ID Card Act would:
- Provide simple proof of military service;
- Minimize the potential of identity theft through the loss or theft of a form DD-214;
- Provide employers looking to hire veterans a standard way to verify an employee's military service;
-Provide military veterans the ability to take part in the goods, services or promotional opportunities that are offered to those who are able to provide proof of military service.
In order to ensure that this legislation has minimal impact on the VA and can be done in a budget neutral way, this legislation:
- Requires a veteran who seeks to obtain this ID card to pay for the initial and any subsequent replacement cards;
- Requires the VA to determine the cost of such a card and apply a fee to the card to cover all costs;
- Uses the equipment already in place at VA facilities across the country to issue the card and collect payment;
- Requires the Secretary of the VA to review and assess costs every five years and change the fee structure appropriately to cover all ID costs under this bill.
The bill has 35 original cosponsors.