DOD civilian retiree access moves to REAL ID

  • Published
  • By Lauren Russell
  • 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Department of Defense civilian retirees and Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve volunteers must now enroll their REAL ID Act-compliant driver’s license to maintain access to military installations.

The change comes after the DOD terminated the issuance of physical retiree ID cards earlier this year following advancements in installation access control systems and procedures.

To enroll their REAL ID, civilian retirees should bring a copy of their Standard Form-50, or SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, as proof of retirement, to the Visitor Control Center here.

DOD civilian retirees do not require a sponsor when applying for their access, however ESGR volunteers do.

“Once we enroll the REAL ID with the Defense Biometric Identification System, individuals can use their drivers license as their base credential,” said Master Sgt. Kenneth Souheaver, 66 SFS Plans and Programs chief.

Once the DBIDS profile is created here, the member’s REAL ID can be used for access to Hanscom Air Force Base only. The same process would need to be repeated at other DOD installations the retiree wishes to access.

“The DBIDS profile for access will have the same expiration date at the member’s REAL ID. When a retiree receives a new REAL ID Act-compliant driver’s license, they will need to re-register with the VCC here,” said Souheaver.

Civilian retirees who do not currently have a REAL ID will be issued a one-year DBIDS card for base access.

A DOD memo about the topic states that previously issued retiree identification cards will remain valid until Aug. 31, at which point all members will need to enroll their REAL IDs.  

According to the Department of Homeland Security, the national deadline for REAL ID enforcement is May 7, 2025. U.S. travelers must be REAL ID compliant to board domestic flights and access certain federal facilities.

For additional information, contact the Visitor Control Center at 781-225-6642.