Transfer for the Veteran’s Service Card

  • We are transforming the way we support our women and men in uniform as they transition to civilian life.
  • For instance, the Canadian Armed Forces established the new Transition Group, and is rolling out new tools, training, and other materials to ease the transition into civilian life.
  • In these Estimates, Veterans Affairs Canada is transferring $1.5 million to National Defence to support the continued implementation of the Veteran’s Service Card.
  • These cards are distributed to former and releasing military members who completed basic training and have been honourably released.    
  • 119,491 Veteran Services have been issued since September 2018.
  • They provide a tangible symbol of recognition for former members and encourages an enduring affiliation with the military.

Key Facts

  • National Defence began issuing cards in December 2018.
  • All veterans who have released from the Canadian Armed Forces since February 1, 2016 may apply for the card.


  • In 2012, Guy Parent, then-Veterans Ombudsman, called for the Government to issue an identification card that clearly identified eligible former military members as Veterans, either for commemorative purposes or for the purpose of providing benefits and services.
  • Ideally, the card would also serve as an identification card, as the former National Defence Identification (NDI) 75 card was not intended for this purpose.
  • In February 2016, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) announced they would no longer issue NDI 75 cards. An e-petition was submitted to the House of Commons, sponsored by Member of Parliament Fillmore, asking the federal government to reinstate photo identification cards for veterans. In response, a Veterans Affairs Canada spokesperson said that the Department was looking at a variety of options for a new photo ID card for Veterans.
  • On September 11, 2018, the Ministers of National Defence and Veterans Affairs announced the creation of a new Veteran’s Service Card for former and releasing CAF members who completed basic training and have been honourably released.
  • The Veteran’s Service Cards are being distributed in phases:
    • As of December 2018, all Veterans who released from the CAF since February 2016 could apply for the card.
    • Beginning summer 2019, cards were issued, upon request, to all eligible Veterans.
  • National Defence is responsible for issuing the Veteran’s Service Card. Veterans Affairs Canada is responsible for supporting Veterans of the CAF. Library and Archives Canada, which holds the majority of the records used in the verification process for the Veteran’s Service Card, provides support to the CAF in this process.

Version 5; 2020-02-24 – Source: Director Budget draft tab; D Parl A QP note, “Veterans Cards”; D Parl A Cow note, “Transition to Post-Service Life,”

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