Veterans ID card

Tuesday 30th January 2024

Thousands of Armed Forces veterans can now apply for their HM Armed Forces Veteran Card following the launch of the service.

The HM Armed Forces Veteran Card is a way to prove that you served in the UK Armed Forces. The card can make it quicker and easier to apply for support as a veteran.

Veterans can now apply for a Veterans ID Card

  • Thousands who left the forces before December 2018 eligible to apply
  • Cards confirm veteran status and simplify access to support services

After months of testing, veterans who left the Armed Forces before December 2018 can verify their veteran status online with a new digital application service to receive a Veteran Card through the post. A paper-based application process is also available as an alternative to the digital system.

Minister for Defence People and Service Families Dr. Andrew Murrison has welcomed the rollout of Veteran Cards, and the benefit it will have for the veterans community.

He said:

“It is essential that every veteran can quickly verify their status and easily receive the  support they need and deserve.

“These Veteran Cards illustrate our gratitude and appreciation for those who have proudly served this country, and the incredible sacrifices they have made.”

The Veteran Card will provide veterans with a clear recognition of service, a tangible link to the Armed Forces, and allow them to easily verify their veteran status to access support and services from government, charities, and local authorities.

The Veteran Card service is being delivered by the Ministry of Defence (MOD), together with the Office for Veterans’ Affairs, as part of the work to improve the support available for veterans. The MOD has worked with the Government Digital Service GOV.UK One Login team to engage with thousands of veterans to build the systems needed to process large volumes of card applications accurately and securely.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Johnny Mercer, said:

“I am committed to improving the support available to our former Service personnel who we owe a huge debt of gratitude. Today is a huge step forward in helping veterans to prove their service, enabling them to access support services more easily.

“I would urge all veterans to apply for their Veteran Card, and use it to access the services, such as Veteran Railcards and specialist healthcare, they are entitled to.”

How to apply

The Veteran Card has already been provided to all service leavers as part of the discharge process with effect from 18 February 2019, and retrospectively to those who left on or after 17 December 2018.

To apply for a Veteran Card visit

About the Veteran ID Card

The new ID card is one of three that are available to service leavers. Personnel leaving the armed forces are also able to keep their military IDs, known as the MOD Form 90, allowing them to maintain their emotional connection with their service. Additionally, veterans can access a range of discounts through the Defence Discount Service, the official MOD-endorsed service for the armed forces.

2022 saw the launch of the Strategy for our Veterans, published jointly by the UK, Welsh and Scottish Governments, which sets out the key areas of support for those who have left the armed forces.

All relevant Government departments have a responsibility to ensure that the military community is treated fairly, and not disadvantaged by their service, as part of the Armed Forces Covenant. The new ID cards will ensure the process of validating service is as straightforward as possible, so that ex-forces personnel can access support for issues related to their service quickly, where needed.

Specialist health support

The cards will complement the NHS’ commitment to providing specialist health support for veterans in every part of the health service, enabling ex-service personnel in England, Scotland and Wales to access treatment where they have been affected by their service. Last year, NHS England announced that dedicated mental healthcare services are up and running in every part of the country, backed by £10 million of investment, with increasing numbers of GPs and hospitals becoming ‘Veteran Aware’, in order to fully address the needs of those who have served.

Any veteran in need of support can contact the Veterans’ Gateway – the 24 hour service which signposts ex-forces personnel to the wide range of support available to them, including housing and financial advice, career guidance, and medical care from the NHS. Since being set up in 2017, the Veterans’ Gateway has already received over 20,000 contacts, advising ex-forces personnel and their families.

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