Veteran's Service Card
From: National Defence
All Canadian Armed Forces Veterans may now apply for the new Veteran’s Service Card
The Government of Canada, the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces are undertaking precautionary measures to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). As a result, the Veteran Service Card (VSC) production is being temporarily halted. We will provide you with an update when available and will look to resume production and distribution of the cards as soon as practical. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
The Veteran Service Card program is fully funded by the Government of Canada. If you receive an email asking for a donation to the program, it is fraudulent and should be reported to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Call Centre at 1-888-495-8501.
Who is eligible
You are eligible to receive a Veteran’s Service Card if you have:
- completed basic training and
- been honourably released from the Canadian Armed Forces.
How to apply
You may apply for your VSC either online or by mail. We strongly recommend that you apply via the online application portal as it may expedite your request by at least two weeks.
Because of privacy and security considerations, we are not authorized to receive or process any Veteran’s Service Card applications by email or by email attachment.
We will make every effort to verify eligibility and fulfil requests for the Veteran’s Service Cards within a 90 day period of application.
Please note that, due to the higher than normal volume of requests, many of you have not received your Veteran Service Card within a 90 day period. As such, we are taking the necessary steps to streamline the process and improve delivery timelines. We ask for your patience, as we work diligently as possible in processing applications.
Apply for your card online using the Veteran’s Service Card secure online portal.
2. By Mail
- Download the Veteran’s Service Card Application Form and fill out electronically before printing off. For handwritten submissions, print out the form and and fill out using clear block letters.
- Ensure you keep one copy of your application for your own records.
- Include the following with your application form:
- a passport-like quality photo;
- proof of identity such as a scan or photocopy of a valid government-issued photo identification; and
- a copy of a Canadian Armed Forces certificate of service, if available (optional).
- Mail the application form and enclosures (if applicable) to:
Director General Defence Security
National Defence Identification Service
Veteran’s Service Card
National Defence Headquarters
MGen George R. Pearkes Building
101 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, ON K1A 0K2
You may not be able to open these forms in your internet browser. To view these PDF forms, you need to:
- Use your computer (Mac or PC). The forms may not open on mobile devices (iPads, tablets, mobile phones, etc.).
- Download the PDF file to your computer. Save the file in a place you can remember.
- Use Adobe Reader 10 (or higher) to open the form. You can download Adobe Reader 10 for free from their website.
If you still have issues, read Adobe’s article on how to solve common issues.
For more information or for assistance, contact the Veteran’s Service Card team.
Veteran's Service Card: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and answers
Q1. I will be releasing from the Canadian Armed Forces. How do I obtain a card?
A1. The card will be requested by the release section during your first release interview. The release administrator will present the Veteran’s Service Card to you during your final release interview.
Q2. How long will it take to receive my Veteran’s Service Card after I apply?
A2. Fulfillment of Veteran’s Service Card requests will depend on the level of demand and the detail and accuracy of the Veterans’ archived military service files. We will make every effort to verify eligibility and fulfil requests for the Veteran’s Service Card within a 90 day period of application. However, due to the volume of requests and the challenges of verifying military service files located in archives, some requests may be delayed for a longer period.
Q3. Who can I contact to help me with my application for the new Veteran’s Service Card?
A3. Questions regarding the implementation of the Veteran’s Service Card can be directed to VSCQuestions.EnquetesCSAC@forces.gc.ca. A toll-free number (1-833-995-0004) is also available to respond to applicant enquiries. All serving Canadian Armed Forces members and veterans are also encouraged to register for a My VAC Account, which will allow them to learn about the full range of Veterans Affairs Canada benefits and services.
Q4. Will I be able to use the new Veteran’s Service Card as an official identification card?
A4. The new Veteran’s Service Card is not intended for official use as an identification card, pursuant to Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat and other guidelines on official identification cards.
Q5. What are the advantages of the new Veteran's Service Card?
A5. The new Veteran’s Service Card provides a tangible symbol of recognition for former Canadian Armed Forces members and encourages an enduring affiliation with the Canadian Armed Forces. Some companies and organizations offer discounts to Veterans, but any commercial or other benefits that may accrue to a Veteran’s Service Card holder will be at the discretion of the granting entity.
Q6. Does this new card replace the CFOne card?
A6. The Veteran’s Service Card is not intended to replace the CFOne card. Canadian Armed Forces members, veterans, and their families may also apply for a CFOne Card to access programs and services delivered by Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services, including the CANEX Rewards Program and the official discount program offered through CF Appreciation Program.
Q7. Can I use my Veteran’s Service Card to gain access to Canadian Armed Forces and / or other NATO facilities?
A7. The new Veteran’s Service Card is not intended for official use as an identification card. Any admission or access to Canadian or other defence facilities would only be granted at their discretion.
Q8. I had an NDI 75 card when I released from the Canadian Armed Forces in 2010, but I lost it. Will I be able to get the new card?
A8. An application and verification process to request and obtain a Veteran’s Service Card has been put in place for those Veterans whose previous NDI 75 or CF 75 cards have been lost or damaged. To apply, please visit canada.ca/veterans-service-card.
Q9. I already have an NDI 75 card. Should I apply for the new card to change it for my old one?
A9. If you already have a previously issued NDI 75 card there is no need to apply for the new Veteran’s Service Card. All Veterans are encouraged to register for a My VAC Account, which will allow them to learn about the full range of Veterans Affairs Canada benefits and services and connect directly with Veterans Affairs Canada staff.
Q10. I served for eight years and was medically released in 2004. I did not receive a NDI 75 card then because I did not have 10 years of service. Am I now eligible for a Veteran’s Service Card?
A10. If you were honourably released on medical grounds, you will receive a Veteran’s Service Card if you apply and the verification process confirms your eligibility during stage three.
Q11. I released from the Canadian Forces in 1998 after 20 years of service. My original NDI 75 card is old and getting tattered. If I apply for a new card will it look the same as my old one?
A11. The new Veteran’s Service Card is similar to previous versions of the NDI 75 card, but some aspects of the design have been changed.
Q12. I am a member of the LBGTQ2 community who was dishonourably released from the military in 1970 after serving 12 years, due to my sexual orientation. Under the terms of the apology by the Canadian government to former LGBTQ2 military members, will I now be eligible for a Veteran’s Service Card?
A12. Any person who was released from the military because of their sexual orientation remains eligible to apply for and receive a Veteran’s Service Card.
Q13. I retired from the Canadian Armed Forces in 2003. I sent in my application for a Veteran’s Service Card by mail in December of 2018 and still haven’t received it. When can I expect to receive my card?
A13. Mail-in Veteran’s Service Card requests sent early by Veterans who released or retired before February 2016 have been retained, and they will be processed beginning on 20 September, 2019. We will make every effort to verify eligibility and fulfil requests for the Veteran’s Service Card within a 90 day period of application.
Q14. I served as a naval reservist in the Canadian Armed Forces for five years in the 1980s. Am I eligible for a Veteran’s Service Card?
A14. All Regular and Reserve Force Canadian Armed Forces members who completed basic training and were honourably released are eligible to receive the Veteran’s Service Card upon request. The period of service recognized on the Veteran’s Service Card will include all time served with the Regular Force, Primary Reserve, COATS (formerly CIL/CIC) and Canadian Rangers.
Q15. My father was a Veteran who served in the Canadian Forces in the 1980s and is now deceased. I have all his service information. Will I be able to apply for a Veteran’s Service Card in his name on behalf of his estate?
A15. The Veteran’s Service Card will not be issued to deceased members’ estates.
Q16. I served in the Canadian Forces when my social insurance number (SIN) was used as a service number. Will my SIN appear on my Veteran’s Service Card?
A16. Former Canadian Armed Forces members / Veterans who served and released at a time when only the SIN was being used as a Canadian Armed Forces service number should provide their social insurance number as a reference in place of a service number when sending in a request for a Veteran’s Service Card. Be assured that the social insurance number will only be used to verify the Veteran's military service record, and it will not appear on the Veteran’s Service Card. If you received a nine character service number following your release from the Canadian Armed Forces, you should use this number on the application when you request the Veteran’s Service Card.
Q17. I retired from the Canadian Armed Forces in 1966. I expect that I will have to wait a while for the Veteran’s Service Card while my military service is verified from the archives. When I apply for the card is there anything I can do that will speed up the verification process and help me get it faster?
A17. If you upload or attach a copy of your Canadian Armed Forces certificate of service with your Veteran’s Service Card application, that will speed up the verification process.
Q18. I served in the Canadian Armed Forces for two separate, non-consecutive periods. The first time was for eight years in the Reserve Force in the 1990s, reaching the rank of Sergeant, and then in the Regular Force, from 2003 to 2007. I was given credit for prior military service when I re-enlisted in 2003, but because I also changed trades I was reduced by two ranks to Corporal. I released for the second time in 2007 as a Master Corporal. Will my Veteran’s Service Card reflect my Sergeant rank?
A18. For administrative consistency, and to maintain the integrity of the Veteran’s Service Card for all veterans, it will show the rank the member held upon final release from the Canadian Armed Forces. There are a number of reasons that a Canadian Armed Forces member’s rank on final release could be lower than at some other time during their period of service. This could include because the member:
- temporarily held an acting higher rank;
- was demoted a rank or more because of a court martial or administrative action; or
- accepted a reduced rank to re-train when changing environments, components, or military occupations.
The rank on final release is a standard that can be applied equally to all Veteran’s Service Card recipients.
Q19. I retired from Canada’s military honourably in 1986. The Veteran’s Service Card e-application portal allows for uploading a certificate of service that shows a Veteran served in the Canadian Armed Forces. I understand that it’s optional, but I’ve been told that my Veteran’Service Card request might be processed faster if I attach a certificate of service with my application. What would such a document look like?
Q20: I tried to submit my Veteran’s Service Card application online, but kept getting an error message and/or I did not get an acknowledgement telling me that my application had been received. Why is this happening?
A20: If your Veteran’s Service Card online application was submitted successfully you should receive the following acknowledgement: “Your Veteran's Service Card Application form has been submitted successfully and is being processed. Should any additional information be required we will contact you.”
If you receive an error message while you are uploading documents as attachments or while you are submitting your application, it may be for one of the following reasons:
- Security & Privacy
The Veteran's Service Card e-application portal is configured to ensure Veterans' privacy and security. The anti-malware protection software supporting the portal may reject VSC applications from computers with less secure profiles. It may also reject applications with attachments of documents potentially affected with viruses, or other detected security issues.
- Timing Out
There is a time limit within the online form to ensure the security of your data, if the form is not submitted within a certain time limit you will get an error message and will need to restart the application process.
- Attachment File Size and Type
The portal will only allow the upload of a maximum file size of 10MB in the following document formats: .jpg, .png and .pdf. Attachments of other file formats, or a total file size of more than 10MB will not be accepted by the system and may result in an error message.
- Browser Issues
The portal has been tested to work on multiple web browsers, however some browser may work better than others to complete a submission due to their technology and security. The testing of the Veteran's Service Card e-application portal in all browser configurations is ongoing by the technical team to ensure that it can accommodate most technologies.
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