Vets to get new VIC card

VIC (Veterans Identity Card):

The Department of Veterans Affairs has designed a new identity card for veterans that will safeguard confidential information while combating identity theft. The card, formally known as the Veterans Identity Card (VIC), will have veterans' photos on the front and identify them as enrollees in the VA's health-care system. Encrypted on a magnetic tape on the back of the card will be the veteran's Social Security number, date of birth and a control number. The magnetic strip also records whether the veteran has a service-connected disability. Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the nation. The Federal Trade Commission listed identity theft as the No. 1 fraud reported by consumers in 2003. Requests from veterans and their congressional representatives were instrumental in bringing about these latest changes. Veterans should request the new card at their local medical center. Processing will take five to seven days once eligibility is verified. VA officials hope to complete the conversion to the new, safer card by mid-November. The existing cards will remain valid until veterans receive their new cards.

[Source: Department of Veterans Affairs  Nov 04]