A MilKid Milestone: Getting Your First ID Card

birthday-cakeFor any kid, turning ten is a big deal. Getting to double digits is a milestone worth celebrating. However, military kids have an extra reason to look forward to the big 1-0. As every military kid knows, age 10 is when you can get your very own, super grown-up, military dependent ID card.

I didn’t realize just how big a deal this was to my kids until my son’s 10th birthday approached. Glancing at the calendar one day, I noticed the day after his birthday was circled in red. I racked my brain to try and remember what was happening on an otherwise uneventful Monday, with no success. Finally I gave up and asked – what’s so special about December 4?

Ryan looked at me with surprise, “That’s the day we can get my new ID card.”

Gulp. I had forgotten.

Okay, I thought. I can do this. How hard can it be, right? People get new ID cards all the time. And then I remembered.

“Honey, you know, Dad won’t be here that day. Can we wait a few weeks until he’s back? It will be so much easier if he’s there with us.”

Ryan’s face fell. Clearly, he had been looking forward to this for months. The prospect of waiting even a few more weeks for his very own super grown-up military dependent ID card was hugely disappointing.

There it was. Mom guilt. Right then, I decided I was going to get this kid his ID card, no matter what it took.

Turned out, it actually didn’t take that much. In fact, getting my son his first ID card was surprisingly easy. If you are a military parent with a kid approaching the double digit milestone, fear not; you, too, can get your child his very own super grown-up military dependent ID card in just a few easy steps.

  1. Your service member needs to complete the DD 1172-2, the Application for Identification Card/DEERS Enrollment. If he or she will be there when you get the ID card, they should wait and sign it in front of the official at the ID card office.
  2. If the service member can’t be there, the DD 1172-2 must be notarized. Alternatively, if you have a general Power of Attorney, you can present that, along with the completed and signed DD 1172-2.
  3. Find your nearest Real-Time Automated Personnel Identification System (RAPIDS) site using the RAPIDS Site Locator. Be sure to check whether the site issues cards for family members (not all do) and if the office accepts walk-ins or requires an appointment.
  4. Visit your nearest RAPIDS site with your excited ten-year-old, his or her birth certificate, and your completed DD 1172-2 (and, let’s be honest, a good book – you’re likely to be there a while). Wait your turn, turn in your form, and that’s it – your child is now the proud owner of his or her very own military dependent ID card.

Need more info? We’ve got your step-by-step instructions and a list of required documents!

eileenPosted by Eileen Huck, Government Relations Deputy Director

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