Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

Rep. Buchanan to VA Secretary: “Move Faster”

Jan 28, 2016
Press Release
Agency Drags Feet on Issuing Identification Cards to Vets

VA Says ID Card Won’t be Ready for Another Year

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep Vern Buchanan, R-FL, responding to reports that the Veterans Administration (VA) will take another year before issuing identification cards to the nation’s veterans, today called for the agency to “pick up the pace and move faster.”

In a letter to Secretary Robert McDonald, Buchanan urged the VA to help protect millions of American veterans at risk of identity theft by moving more swiftly to implement the Veterans Identification Card Act, which was signed into law by President Obama over six months ago. Buchanan introduced the bill on Jan. 6, 2015.

Buchanan asked the agency for information regarding specific steps it has taken to produce and issue the ID cards.

“The VA needs to pick up the pace and move faster on issuing identification cards to any veteran who wants one,” Buchanan said, expressing disappointment in the agency’s foot-dragging. “Another year is too long of a wait as millions of veterans remain vulnerable to identity theft.”

Currently millions of veterans are unable to document their service to our country without physically carrying around their official military service records. These records, referred to as DD-214 forms, contain sensitive personal information including social security numbers and service details that put veterans at higher, unnecessary risk for identity theft.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), veterans have twice the rate of identity theft than the general public nationwide.

Additionally, the law makes it easier for employers to verify an applicant’s service in the military and for veterans to take advantage of goods, services and promotional opportunities.

The Veterans Identification Card Act unanimously passed both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate last summer. The legislation was endorsed by AMVETS, the Vietnam Veterans of America, Veterans for Common Sense and the Association of the U.S. Navy.

Full text of Buchanan’s letter is attached and can be found here.