Veteran's service card

From: National Defence

Recently released CAF members can now request the new Veteran’s Service Card

An image of a hand holding a Veteran's Service Card. The card is bilingual and displays a member's service number, rank on release, surname, given names, record of service and a headshot image.

Veterans released between February 2016 and September 2018 can now request their Veteran’s Service Card, with the downloadable, mail-in application form available below. The form lists the information you will need to provide for verification of previous military service. The use of a mail-in application form is necessary to conform to federal privacy and security considerations.

The new Veteran’s Service Card (VSC) helps you stay connected to military and veteran support programs during your transition from military to civilian life. This card also recognizes your previous service as a Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) member.

It is estimated that there are 26,000 veterans who are now eligible to apply for their Veteran’s Service Card. Another estimated 450,000, who have honourably released prior to February 2016, will be able to apply for their Veteran’s Service Card during the summer of 2019. This staged approach allows the Department of National Defence and Veterans Affairs Canada to ensure that the necessary resources are in place to verify, produce, and distribute the Veteran’s Service Cards.

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 CAF

As of September 2018, all eligible members automatically receive a Veteran’s Service Card as they release from the CAF, and will receive their card during their final release interview.

Veterans released before February 2016 will be able to request their Veteran’s Service Card during the summer of 2019.

Instructions for Veteran’s Service Card applications*

1. Download the Veteran’s Service Card Application Form. The application form can be filled out electronically or handwritten. For handwritten submissions, please ensure you print in clear block letters.

2. Print off the application form. It is recommended you keep a copy of your application for your own records.

3. Veterans who, while serving, were issued either the National Defence Identification (NDI) 20 Canadian Forces Permanent ID card, or NDI 21 Civilian ID card only need to submit a completed application form. Members who were not issued either of these two ID cards, or do not know whether they were issued any of these ID cards, must also include the following with their application form:

1) a passport-like quality photo, AND
2) proof of identity in the form of a photocopy of a valid Government issued photo identification.

4. Mail the application form and enclosures (if applicable) to the following address:

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

* Please note that only applications from veterans released between February 2016 and September 2018 will be accepted for processing at this time.

Contact us

For more information or for assistance, contact VSCQuestions.EnquetesCSAC@forces.gc.ca.

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  3. 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.

Frequently asked questions

Q1. I am releasing from the Canadian Armed Forces shortly, how can I get my Veteran's Service Card?

A1. The Canadian Armed Forces release administrator will automatically request a Veteran's Service Card for you when you declare your intent to release from the CAF. Your card will be presented to you by the release administrator during your final release interview.

Q2. Can I use the new Veteran's Service Card as an official identification card?

A2. The new Veteran's Service Card is not intended for official use as an ID card. It is not recognized as an official ID card, pursuant to Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat and other guidelines on identification cards.

Q3. Does this new card replace the CFOne card?

A3. The Veteran's Service Card is not intended to replace the CFOne card. CAF members, veterans, and their families may apply for a CFOne card, which allows access to programs and services delivered by Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services (CFMWS), including the CANEX Rewards Program and the CF Appreciation Program.

Q4. When will the new cards be available to veterans who released before September 2018?

A4. Eligible veterans who were released between February 2016 and September 2018 can now apply for their Veteran’s Service Card.

Eligible veterans who released prior to 2016 can request their Veteran’s Service Card during stage three, during the summer of 2019.

Q5. I already have an NDI 75 card. Should I apply for the new card to replace it?

A5. If you already have a previously-issued NDI 75 card there is no advantage to applying for the new Veteran’s Service Card.

Q6. 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?

A6. The Veteran’s Service Card will not be issued to deceased members’ estates.

Q7. Where can I find an application form for the new Veteran's Service Card?

A7. The online application form for veterans who released between 2016 and 2018 (stage two) is now accessible at Veteran's service card web page. A process for requests for VSCs by eligible veterans who released prior to 2016 (stage three) will be established during the summer of 2019.

Q8. Is there anyone who can help me with my application for the new Veteran’s Service Card?

A8. CAF members and Veterans can send their questions to VSCQuestions.EnquetesCSAC@forces.gc.ca. All serving CAF members and veterans are also encouraged to register for a My VAC Account to learn about the full range of VAC benefits and services.

Q9. Where can I find more information?

A9. For general information on the new Veteran's Service Card, please visit Veteran's Service Card web page, and follow the Canadian Armed Forces on CAF Facebook and on Twitter @CanadianForces. More information about the CAF personnel initiatives in Canada’s Defence Policy may be found in Chapter One of Strong, Secure, Engaged (SSE).

Q10. The word “Veteran” is on the Veteran's Service Card. What is the link with Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC)?

A10. The card was rolled out as a joint CAF / VAC initiative that will enable CAF members, veterans, and their families to better connect with their communities. It’s a symbol of recognition for former members, and encourages an enduring affiliation with the CAF.

Q11. Why is issuing the Veteran’s Service Card important? Is there any connection with CAF personnel initiatives being implemented under Canada’s Defence Policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged (SSE)?

A11. Canada cannot meet its defence needs at home and abroad without dedicated, motivated, and highly skilled people. The many CAF personnel initiatives being implemented under SSE are vital in ensuring our women and men in uniform not only succeed in operations, but are also fully supported from recruitment through retirement, and beyond. In issuing the Veteran’s Service Card, the CAF is demonstrating that it is committed to enhancing member support.

Q12. Why is there a delay in providing a Veteran’s Service Card to veterans who released from the CAF prior to February 2016?

A12. Approximately 450,000 veterans who released honourably before 2016 are eligible to receive the new Veteran’s Service Card. The CAF and VAC are working together to ensure that the necessary resources are in place to verify, produce, and distribute the Veteran’s Service Cards in a timely manner.

Q13. I served in the CAF 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 again 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?

A13. 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 CAF. There are a number of reasons that a CAF 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 VSC recipients.

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