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Military Life

Renewing Your Military ID Card as a Dependent When Your Sponsor Is Deployed or Deceased


Military identification cards are essential within the military community. You need one to get on a military installation, shop at the Commissary or the Exchange, or to access TRICARE medical care.

Renewing or replacing these ID cards can be a challenging process, so it’s important to know the necessary steps to take before your ID card expires. This is particularly important for surviving spouses or other dependents whose sponsor has passed away. Here’s what you need to keep in mind:

Can I Renew My Military ID Without My Sponsor?

Yes, according to the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS), it is possible to replace an ID card without the sponsor present, even if your sponsor is deployed or deceased. If a sponsor passes away, the dependent spouse or child must contact DEERS and update their military ID card. You can do so by calling the DMDC/DEERS Support Office (DSO) at 800-538-9552.

How Do I Renew a Military ID Without a Sponsor?

1. Make an appointment with a RAPIDS ID office.

You’ll want to make an appointment with a Real-Time Automated Personnel Identification System (RAPIDS) office this before your current military ID card expires. This is important because, if your RAPIDS ID appointment is on a military installation, security will confiscate your expired ID at the entrance.

Use this locator tool to find the RAPIDS ID office nearest to your current location.

2. Call the DEERS support line.

If your sponsor passes away, make sure the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System updates your sponsor’s death in the system to ensure you receive a survivor ID card. Surviving dependents of deceased personnel ages 75 and over can get a permanent military ID card that doesn’t expire. To contact DEERS, call 1-800-538-9552. DEERS will notify TRICARE for you.

3. Get your new ID card from the RAPIDS ID site.

Bring a completed DD Form 1172-2 along with two forms of identification to your RAPIDS ID appointment. One of your forms of identification must be government-issued, such as a driver’s license or passport. If your sponsor is deceased, you will also need a copy of the death certificate. If your sponsor is living but isn’t present, you can sign in their place using a general Power of Attorney. Be sure to bring your sponsor’s legal document with you to the appointment.

If you or any other dependents are physically unable to make the trip, call a local RAPIDS ID office. Options for replacing an ID without the dependent present differ based on location, and your local office will be best able to tell you what to do.

If you have any questions or need our assistance with your military benefits, an AAFMAA Member Benefits Representative can help. Call 888-541-3705 , select option 2, then option 2 again; or email [email protected].

This article was originally published October, 17, 2018.

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