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Safeguard DoD common access card

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Protecting and securing your military identification card, or your common access card, is a duty and responsibility of every military member and government employee. Recently, there have been reports of multiple incidents in Colorado Springs, as well as nationwide, regarding commercial establishments photocopying military and CAC cards to verify military or government status, in order to provide discounted rates.

Although asking for military or government identification is permissible by commercial establishments, many government personnel are unaware of the prohibition on duplication of government identification. Businesses such as cell phone companies, hotels or car companies may ask to photocopy a service member's ID for their records when issuing a discount; however, according to Department of Defense Instruction 1000.13, photocopying of military identification in an unauthorized manner is prohibited and in violation of Title 18, U.S. Code Part I, Chapter 33, Section 701, and punishment can result in imprisonment, fines, or both.

There are some cases were photocopying a CAC is authorized, including to facilitate medical care processing, check cashing, voting, tax matters and compliance with appendix 501 of title 50, U.S.C., otherwise known as "The Service Member's Civil Relief Act." Medical establishments are exempt from this regulation and may make a photocopy of the card to file insurance claims. Other government agencies can also make copies in the interest of conducting official government business.

In the era of identity theft and terrorism, protecting and securing a military identification card is paramount. Unauthorized photocopying runs the risk of illegal duplication and an opportunity to produce counterfeit cards. Terrorist and criminal elements continually seek out duplicated and counterfeit military identification cards and understand the value of obtaining such documentation. Unfortunately, there are no safeguards in place to prevent a counterfeit military or government identification card from being produced on a photocopy provided to a commercial establishment.

All personnel are requested to remain vigilant in ensuring they do not allow anyone to photocopy their identification cards. The 21st Security Forces Squadron's Antiterrorism Office recommends all personnel, military and civilian, provide a state issued driver's license or other form of photo identification be used when requested by a commercial establishment.

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