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Commentary | June 16, 2021

New: Extensions for expiring CAC and USID cards

To ensure military personnel and beneficiaries have continued access to healthcare and other benefits during this time of increased health precautions, the Department of Defense (DoD) is extending the temporary policy guidance authorizing the use of expired Common Access Cards (CACs) and Uniformed Services Identification (USID) Cards.

CAC Holders: What you need to know

The CAC is a "smart" card used as the standard identification for active duty Uniformed Service personnel, selected reserve, Department of Defense (DoD) civilian employees, and eligible contractor personnel.

While continuing to comply with all pandemic safety precautions, the DoD is extending the temporary policy guidance authorizing the use of expired CACs as follows:

  • To August 31, 2021, for foreign affiliates and their dependents.
  • To October 31, 2021, for uniformed service members – active duty, reserve and National Guard, and their dependents

Expired CACs do not impact Tricare eligibility. Tricare eligibility is based on Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) status. DEERS will continue to be the authoritative source to verify statutory eligibility for DoD Healthcare and other benefits.

USID Card Holders: What you need to know

USID cards are issued to retired and reserve members, dependent family members of uniformed services members, and other eligible individuals in accordance with service policy to facilitate access to benefits, privileges, and military facilities. 

If the cardholder’s affiliation is unchanged, USID cards that expired on or after January 1, 2020, and on or before 31 July 2021, are authorized for continued benefit use through January 31, 2022.

Mail-in processing for uniformed retirees, dependents, and annuitants has also been extended through January 31, 2022.

USID cards that expired before January 1, 2020 or after July 31, 2021 have not been extended and will not be accepted.