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What is a Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC) and how do I get one?

Published 04/27/2006 02:52 PM   |    Updated 10/23/2017 11:45 AM
What is a Veterans Health Identification Card and how do you get one?

The Department of Veterans Affairs provides a Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC) for veterans to use at VA medical facilities. The VHIC will be issued only to veterans who are eligible for VA medical benefits and only for the purpose of identification and check-in for VA medical appointments. The card protects personal privacy by not showing Social Security Numbers or dates of birth on the front of the cards. For more information on VHIC, go to

VA has Service Connected, POW and Purple Heart (PH) indicators on the VHIC. Veterans who have been awarded service-connected status after their VHIC has been issued or SC status is not properly documented on their card, will need to present their letter showing their SC rating to the eligibility clerk at the local VA Medical Center where they obtain treatment. After verification, the eligibility clerk will submit a request through the VHIC system for a new card to be issued to the veteran.

Once a veteran has his/her picture taken for the card at the VA medical facility, the card will be mailed to the veteran at the address that has been provided. To ensure that a veteran receives the VHIC, the veteran should please verify that VA has the correct address on file. If the U.S. Postal Service cannot deliver the card, it will be returned to the facility at which the card was requested. The card will then be held in a secure location at the facility for 90 days. If the card is not picked up within the 90-day period, the card will be destroyed.