HOUSTON - In order to reduce Veteran vulnerability to identity theft and to demonstrate VA’s commitment to securing the confidential personal information of enrolled Veterans, all VA medical facilities, including the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) and its outpatient clinics, are replacing Veteran identification cards with a new, more secure ones.
These new cards eliminate the sensitive identifying information printed on the front of the other cards.
The VA provides a Veteran Identification Card (VIC) for Veterans to use at VA medical facilities. The VIC is issued only to Veterans who are eligible for VA medical benefits and only for the purpose of identification and check-in for VA medical appointments.
Prior versions of Veteran patient identification cards display information such as a Veteran’s full social security number and date of birth. This is considered to be an unwarranted risk for Veterans receiving health care services from VA.
The new VIC contains a one inch by one inch, color photo; the Veteran’s name (not embossed); a barcode; and service-connected, former Prisoner of War, and/or Purple Heart identifiers as applicable.
No other personal information is visible on the card. The barcode and magnetic strip on the card contains information so VA health care providers can access the patient’s medical record in VA’s Computerized Patient Record System.
Veterans receiving care at the MEDVAMC are able to replace their old cards by stopping by the VIC Room in the Admissions Area near the Emergency Room in Houston, or the check-in desks at the outpatient clinics in Conroe, Beaumont, Galveston, Lufkin, Richmond, and Texas City.
A clerk at these locations will take your photograph and your new VIC will be mailed to you in seven to 10 days. Veterans are strongly encouraged to update their contact information including home address and telephone numbers at this time.
For more information about the new VIC card, contact the MEDVAMC Eligibility and Enrollment Office at (713) 794-7288 or visit the VA’s Eligibility website at www.va.gov/healtheligibility.