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Tips for applying for a Veteran Card

Published on 12 Jun 2024

The HM Armed Forces Veteran Card is a way to prove that you served in the Armed Forces. The card can make it quicker and easier to apply for support as a veteran and is completely free. 

A sample UK Armed Forces Veteran ID card, with a red and white background pattern. The card features a silhouette placeholder for a photo, a sample ID number and the term "Veteran" prominently displayed. The right side of the card shows the Armed Forces Covenant logo.

Who can get a Veteran Card?

You can apply if you were in the regulars or reserves for the: 

  • Royal Navy
  • Army
  • Royal Air Force
  • Royal Marines

How to use your Veteran Card

There are many services available to ex-members of the armed forces and to access them you need to verify that you are a veteran. The card gives you a simple way to do this.

For example, you could use it when you apply for:

Discounts on rail travel

The Veterans' Railcard offers up to a third off most rail travel.

Savings on shopping

The Defence Discount Service claims money off shopping.

Financial benefits

National Insurance Relief, no matter when you served.

Help with employment

Veteran employment initiatives such as Great Place to Work

Housing hotline

Support and guidance with housing from Op FORTITUDE

Justice system support

Services from criminal justice agencies as part of Op NOVA.

What you need in order to apply

Applications can be made online and you also have the option to complete and return a paper application form.

The Office for Veterans Affairs has advised online applications take eight weeks to process, whereas paper applications take four months.   

To apply you'll need:

Your service number for your last period of service.

Your National Insurance number.

The approximate year you started and ended your service – it doesn’t need to be exact.

A recent passport style photo.

Accessibility features for applying online

Doing tasks online can feel very daunting when you have a vision impairment, but all computers, smart phones and tablets have built in accessibility features which may be helpful.

If you're a beneficiary of Blind Veterans UK, ask your community team for support.

Read our resource, Seeing text more clearly on a screen, to find out how to use the following features.

Display settings

Changes the appearance of the text and pictures.

Screen magnification

This setting enlarges the content.

Screen reader

Reads the content on the screen aloud.

High contrast mode

Changes the colours to make the text easier to read.

How to access the application form

The online application form can be found at  

To order a paper application, you can email the Veterans UK Helpline at or call them on 0808 1914 218. 


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Are you a veteran with a vision impairment?

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Blind veteran Ken and his support worker sitting at a table laughing together in Ken's home
Blind veteran Ken, right, and Community Supporter Worker, Matthew (Photo credit: Richard Cannon)