DoD: The time is now to renew extended ID cards

An Air Force airman hands a military family member a news identification card at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., on April 5, 2018. Photo credit Air Force Senior Airman Ryan Lackey

The Defense Department is asking as many as a half-million ID cardholders to go online now and make appointments to renew their IDs — many of which are past the expiration dates printed on them.

DoD extended the expiration dates electronically to account for the challenges of renewing them in a COVID-19 environment.

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Last year when it became apparent that COVID-19 was going to dramatically affect the ability of individuals to congregate or wait in line at ID card offices, the Defense Department electronically extended the expiration dates for many ID cards for several months to allow cardholders a greater amount of time to get those cards renewed.

The extensions primarily benefited the dependents of active-duty service members, Reserve and National Guard service members and their dependents, as well as retirees and their dependents.

Currently, there's a backlog of more than a half-million people who have ID cards that are past the expiration dates printed on them, and it's time to go online and schedule an appointment to get those cards renewed, said Stephen Wellock with the Defense Manpower Data Center.

Right now, the previously extended ID cards for dependents of active duty service members, as well as Reserve and National Guard service members and their dependents, can be used until Oct. 31, 2021. The cards of retirees and their dependents can be used until Jan. 31, 2022.

But Wellock also said some might not have the time they think they have.

Army Spc. Shunterika Fields and Army Pvt. Stephen Hines create identification cards at a temporary medical facility in New Orleans on April 4, 2020. Photo credit Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Eric S. Garst

For those service members and their dependents and retirees and their dependents whose ID cards expired after July 31, 2021 — there is no extension.

"You have no extension, your ID card is expired," he said. "You need to get it replaced, for both active duty, Guard and Reserve dependents, and for retirees. So, if a service member’s dependent is out there, and their ID card expired on Sept. 7, they don't have until October to get it replaced; their ID card h