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If you’re anything like me, as soon as I’m done with one of the Army’s cumbersome systems I forget the small (but super important) details. This is absolutely the case when it comes time for my military spouse ID renewal! The Army doesn’t like to make things easy, renewal is just as big a pain in the you know what as registering for the first time!
Military Spouse ID Renewal Step #1: Plan Ahead
This may be the most important step of all. PLAN AHEAD. Make sure you know exactly when your ID card expires. Just like getting a new ID, your sponsor has to accompany you (or with a specific POA). But you can’t renew your ID more than 30 days prior to it’s expiration. So not too far ahead! Make sure you and your spouse have a free day within that window. Or if your spouse deploys or away for an extended period of time you’ll need to make sure your POA and DD172 is in order.
Military Spouse ID Renewal Step #2: Call Ahead
Every installation and DEERS office handles the ID process a little differently. Some require appointments, some don’t. Some you can start paperwork online, others you can’t. The best way to make sure that you aren’t turned away at the front desk is to call ahead. They’ll let you know if you need an appointment or if they want you to use RAPIDS, the online appointment scheduler, to start the process.
Military Spouse ID Renewal Step #3: Paperwork!
The military loves paperwork! Stacks and stacks of paperwork. You’ll need to bring with you two forms of ID, a signed copy of DD1172, and supporting documentation of relationship. Your don’t need supporting documentation if you’re renewing an ID without any status changes. If your spouse retires, you’re divorced, or some other situation arises, you need to prove it. If go alone to the appointment, they’ll need to sign DD1172 online in the RAPIDS system. When your spouse attends the appointment make sure they don’t sign the hard copy until you’re in front of the DEERS officer. Don’t forget anything, especially if you’re close to expiration!
Overall it’s not a difficult process, just annoying. Since it only comes up every 4 years it’s so easy to forget one of the steps. Add in the fact that the government changes requirements all the time and you’ll be happy you took the time to double check!