You know you need to go through the dependent military ID card renewal process soon, but why do you even need to do so? Why not just follow the powerful temptation to stay lazy and wait for your sponsor to drag you to the RAPIDS site? It turns out there are plenty of ramifications to your sloth.

Whether it's difficulties getting back onto your base, or getting embarrassed at the commissary, it's easier just to make an appointment. It's not as hard as it sounds, and will save you trouble down the road. Follow these basic steps to get your ID renewed in no time.

Knowing When You Need to Go Through the Dependent Military ID Card Renewal Process

The most important part of the dependent military ID card renewal process is knowing when you need to renew your ID. It's easy for distractions to make you forget about renewing your ID. Nevertheless, it's essential to keep your dependent ID up to date.

Thankfully this step is a piece of cake. You'll usually find your expiration date in the top right corner of your military ID. There are some things to keep in mind though. For example, dependents in college will have to renew their ID after turning 21. Above anything though, make sure to renew your dependent ID card promptly. Your ID card guarantees you access to a lot of benefits, especially if you live on a base.

Stay Up to Date With Dependent Military ID Card Renewal

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Keeping up to date with dependent military ID card renewal ensures you'll receive the plenty of benefits you get for being a military dependent. For example, using your ID card will not only get you into military bases. It will also let you use many of their amenities. If you want groceries at a low cost, your ID will get into the commissary. You can also save money on goods such as haircuts or clothes at the base's exchange. Bases also have many recreation centers and activities that your dependent military ID card will let you get into.

Along with access to places on the base, your dependent military ID card serves as your health insurance card. Military dependents receive Tricare, which works similarly to an insurance company. Keeping your ID card up to date keeps you covered under Tricare's insurance.

Furthermore, if you have children, there are plenty of benefits you can get for them. For starters, you may need to present your military ID card to sign your kid up for daycare. Your kids also might decide they want to sign up for activities. Such activities may include bowling, dance classes, and more. With an out of date ID card, you might end up with a cranky kid on your hands.

You also might want to rent out equipment through Military Welfare and Recreation. They could provide all kinds of gear from skis to golf clubs. You don't want to get the urge to go skiing only to get turned down for an expired ID! As you can see, there's a lot you get for keeping your ID up to date. Some of the benefits are serious, while others are just plain fun. Keeping your ID card up to date allows you to be sure you're getting these bountiful benefits.

The Steps Needed to Renew Your Dependent Military ID Card

You only need to follow a few simple steps for the dependent military ID card renewal process. If you follow these steps correctly, the process will be quick and painless. If you skip a few steps, you'll likely have to do a lot of unnecessary running back and forth.

Know if you're still eligible for renewal

Military dependents aren't guaranteed dependent military ID card renewal. If the dependent is over 18, they lose eligibility if they marry or join the military. Once the dependent turns 21, they lose eligibility aside from a few exceptions. First, they must receive over 50 percent of their support from their sponsor to stay eligible. Next, they must meet specific criteria such as attending a college full time.

Make sure you have the required paperwork for your appointment

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Before making an appointment make sure you have the necessary paperwork to complete the dependent military ID card renewal process. The first form you'll need is a completed and signed DD Form 1172-2. If the sponsor is going to the RAPIDS site with their dependent, then they can fill out the paper on site. If the sponsor can't make it they can either digitally complete and submit the form on ID Card Office Online, fill out the form and get it notarized, or have a power of attorney fill out the form on their behalf.

For the appointment, the dependent will also need two forms of ID. One can be their old dependent ID card, and the second can be any ID listed on the ID card renewal checklist.

There are also special cases where you'll need to bring other documents to sign or bring to the appointment. You can find these particular cases in the previously mentioned ID card renewal checklist. For example, if a child over 21 is enrolled full time at a college, they'll need to bring a letter from their college. The letter has to state they're a full-time student as well as their expected graduation date.

Find your nearest RAPIDS site

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After gathering the appropriate documentation, the next step of the dependent military ID card renewal process will be to find the nearest RAPIDS site. All you have to do is go to the RAPIDS site locator website and put in basic information such as your location and how far away you want the search radius to be. After finding your closest RAPIDS site the website will give you information such as where the site is located, the phone number of the site, and what their hours of operation are.

Make an appointment

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Once you find your nearest RAPIDS site all you need to do is make an appointment for your dependent military ID card renewal. If you made sure to bring all the correct documentation, the meeting itself is very straightforward. You'll just fill out some papers, show your IDs, and get your photo taken. It's usually a pretty quick process.

Avoiding Complications

To make the dependent military ID card renewal process as easy as possible make sure to double check the list and make sure you have everything you need for your appointment. One major hangup is ignoring the documents required for eligibility. For instance, if the sponsor was recently retired, discharged, or has received a medal of honor there are likely extra forms that will need to be brought along. Also, if the dependent is over 21, there are only a few exceptions that will allow them to stay eligible for renewal.

It may seem like a pain to double check what forms you need, but it will pay off in the long run. Nothing is worse than scheduling and going to an appointment, only to realize you're missing the proper credentials. If you're unlucky, you'll have to schedule another appointment for an entirely different day. And if you and the office you're planning an appointment with are busy, you might be stuck with an expired ID card longer than you'd like.

Although the military can make things more complicated than needed, dependent military ID card renewal is reasonably straightforward. Sure there's still some paperwork involved, but it's nothing outrageous. And although there are a few hoops you'll need to jump through such as finding your nearest RAPIDS site, the process could be a lot more lengthy. So make sure to renew your ID in a timely manner. If you don't, you'll be missing out on more benefits than you thought.

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