To reduce foot traffic at identification card centers across the Department of Defense during the coronavirus pandemic, DoD’s Under Secretary for Personnel and Readiness Matthew Donovan issued the first of three memos to service chiefs, April 7, detailing how expiring ID cards will be automatically extended through Sept. 30, while allowing others to renew their ID cards remotely.

Fort Hood’s ID Card Office in the Copeland Center, which issues more than 100 IDs daily, is implementing these new procedures set out by DoD.

“What we’re trying to do is to minimize the number of non-essential visits to the ID card facility,” Lorri Golya, director of Fort Hood’s Directorate of Human Resources, said Monday. “In many cases, the people who come into our facility are those who are at high risk — our retirees, our young family members. That’s why this is important. If we can reduce the numbers coming in, we can better protect our customers and our employees.”

USID

The Uniformed Services Identification Card, or USID, is issued to veterans, retirees and family members. Under the policy change, all USIDs which expired on or after Jan. 1, 2020, are “authorized for continued benefit use through Sept. 30, 2020,” Donovan’s memo stated.

“Because of the pandemic and trying to reduce the number of people that need to visit our facility, these new policies allow that to happen,” Golya said. “Right now, if your ID card expires between Jan. 1, 2020 and Sept. 30, your benefits are still good.”

Another major change in policy and procedure is changing the minimum age for initial USID card from age 10 to age 14.

Remote renewals

The DoD memo also noted that “remote USID card renewals and re-issuance shall be expanded.”

“The biggest change for the USID cards — for veterans, family members, spouses — is the remote access,” Golya said. “If you don’t want to come to the facility, you can now mail, fax or scan required forms, along with a photo, to our office and we will issue you a new ID card. The ID cards that are issued are good from one year from the date issued.

“We will definitely take care of those customers who do come in,” she added, “but we highly encourage that everyone take advantage of this expanded remote access. If you do choose to come in, please make an appointment, which can be done online. Just go to the DHR web page and click the link to ID cards.”

The policy change allows new family member enrollment, as well as eligibility updates and first-time or replacement ID cards to be processed remotely by mailing, faxing or scanning a head/shoulder photo, application and copies of all required.

“The forms can be found on the DHR web page under the ID card link, as well as other links that provide additional details, information and a Frequently Asked Questions page,” Golya said.

Users should mail only copies of their official documents, such as marriage or birth certificates, not originals.

“The photo needs to be a head and shoulder shot and can be taken with your (cell) phone, or a passport photo,” James Butler, office manager of the ID Card Office in the Copeland Center, said. “It can be black and white or color.”

The link to the Fort Hood web page is https://home.army.mil/hood/index.php/units-tenants/Garrison-1/directorate-human-resources/adjutant-general/ID-Cards.

Common Access Cards

“A CAC that expires on or after April 16, 2020, are authorized for use through Sept. 30, 2020, as long as your eligibility for benefits or affiliation does not change,” Golya said.

“It’s the same situation as we have for USIDs, just a different start date.”

The difference with CACs, though, is the certificates attached to each card.

“If your CAC is going to expire within that time, you do have to go online to update your certificates,” Golya said. “We will provide detailed guidance for that on our website.”

She added that updating CAC certificates online can only be done within 30 days of the card’s expiration. For example, a card expiring May 30 cannot be updated no sooner than May 1. Eligible card-holders may log onto ID Card Office Online at https://pki.dmdc.osd.mil/self_service/ to update the certificates on their CACs, Uniformed Services ID Card and Volunteer Logical Access Credentials within 30 days of the expiration date. Detailed instructions are also located on the Fort Hood ID card web page.

Without the change, users who are teleworking would lose access to DoD networks, systems and email and would be required to visit a DoD ID card office, in person, for a new card.

Online updates will not work for cards that have already expired.

“The continued operation of ID card facilities is an essential DoD mission,” Michael C. Klemowski, Chief, Soldier Programs Branch, Soldier Programs and Services Division, Installation Management Command, said.

USID cardholders who have cards that expire Jan. 1 through Sept. 30, 2020, and CACs that expire April 16 through Sept. 30, 2020 and certificates that have been extended will maintain access to the gates and post facilities, such as the post exchange/commissary, hospital, pharmacy and Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs.

The new measures are in place through Sept. 30 and may be extended depending on the scope of the coronavirus national health emergency, according to the DoD.

For additional information, including step-by-step instructions, visit https://www.cac.mil/coronavirus or https://home.army.mil/hood/index.php/units-tenants/Garrison-1/directorate-human-resources/adjutant-general/ID-Cards.