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The Rap Sheet on Lost or Stolen I.D. Cards



Article  
The Rap Sheet on Lost or Stolen I.D. Cards
[10/23/2004]

Source: By Cherie Dewar for LIFELines

A crook benefiting from a stolen military identification (I.D.) card is like a dentist yachting off the coast of Hawaii. Both the victim of the missing I.D. and the dental patient would rather not have these folks benefiting from their misfortune. The good news is that you can get a replacement I.D. card; the same cannot always be said for teeth or the money that paid for that dentist’s yacht.

Military Member I.D. Card

Military I.D. cards got a face-lift a few years ago when the old cards were replaced with Common Access Cards (a.k.a. Smart cards). With plans to store much more than just the member's I.D., the card's bar-coding, magnetic strip, and embedded integrated circuit chip allows each service to customize what's stored on the card. Everything from email addresses to building access (and soon government computer clearance) can be stored on the card, so clearly there are dangerous consequences if it's lost.

The first thing military members should do is report the loss to their command. The S-1, or administration office, will record the loss and issue a lost I.D. card statement or personal action report — both confirm the member's active-duty status. This must be presented to the I.D., or Real Time Automated Personnel Identification System (RAPIDS) office, along with another photo I.D., to acquire a new card.

Suspicious circumstances of a missing I.D. card may be referred to the military police, or the command may issue disciplinary action. With world events and security as they are, losing an I.D. is now regarded more seriously.

Family Member I.D. Cards

In addition to the inconvenience of losing easier admittance to a base, and privileges like the commissary or exchange, anyone who loses their I.D. is subject to identity theft. The I.D. cards have social security numbers on them which crooks can use to assume a person's identity, forge documents, or open accounts. Children should not advertise the existence of their military I.D. cards for this reason.

Family members who have lost their I.D. cards need to visit the RAPIDS office with another photo I.D., and their sponsors will sign an 1172-3 form. If the sponsor is deployed, then the family member should bring a power-of-attorney document. The office can verify the family member's enrollment in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) and whether the sponsor was present for the issuance of the prior I.D. card.

If the family member doesn't have a power of attorney, and the sponsor is unavailable, the I.D. office may issue a 90-day I.D. until they're able to obtain a signed 1172-3 form from the sponsor through his or her command, or the command itself may sign for a new I.D. card on the family member's behalf. Dual-military-parent families are encouraged to have I.D. cards issued for their children, even those as young as 6 weeks old, when at least one parent is present to sign for the card. If this card is lost while both parents are deployed, guardians should bring the child and their power of attorney or Dependent Care Certificate to the I.D. office to show that the child is in their care. They may also obtain a letter from the parents' command to receive exchange and commissary privileges.


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