Can US Military IDs be copied for USCIS, NVC, and DOS Immigration Purposes?  

The applicable statute is: Title 18, U.S. Code Part I, Chapter 33, Section 701, which states:

Whoever manufactures, sells or possesses any badge, identification card or other insignia of the design prescribed by the head of any department or agency of the United States for use by any officer or employee thereof, or any colorable imitation thereof, or photographs, prints or in any other manner makes or executes any engraving, photograph, print or impression in the likeness of any such badge, identification card, or other insignia, or any colorable imitation thereof, except as authorized under the regulation made pursuant to law, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both. Bolded to add emphasis, within the relevant statute, there lies and exception.

The Defense Department provided in 79 FR 707, titled: Identification (ID) Cards for Members of the Uniformed Services, Their Dependents, and Other Eligible Individuals, a non-exhaustive list of exception examples:

authorized photocopying include photocopying of DoD ID cards to facilitate medical care processing, check cashing, voting, tax matters, compliance with 50 U.S.C. appendix 501 (also known as “The Service member’s Civil Relief Act”), or administering other military-related benefits to eligible beneficiaries.

The photocopying of a Military ID for government purpose is exempt. The day-to-day activities of State and Federal Agencies are government actions for government purposes. Performing government business is lawful and does not violate Title 18, U.S. Code Part I, Chapter 33, Section 701.

As such, Immigration Agencies such as USCIS, NVC, and DOS are able to lawfully request and use Military IDs.



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