Photocopying IDs by merchants a "no-go"

  • Published
  • By Ralph Milone
  • Eglin Signature Management Officer
Everyone likes to receive a discount when they shop at local establishments. In these hard times a little savings can go a long way.

However, every once in a while the Eglin Signature Management Office receives a report from a military member or government employee that a merchant requests to photocopy the members ID card in order for that member to receive a discount from the merchant. Naturally this can cause a problem for National Security reasons and individual privacy as well.

There are also governing policies by the Air Force prohibiting the specific photocopying of ID cards for members of the Air Force, family members, and other personnel. AFI 36-3026 V1_IP, Identification Cards for members of the Uniformed Services, their eligible family members and other eligible personnel specifically states the following:

- Title 18, U.S.C., Section 701 prohibits photographing, reproducing, or possessing Uniformed Services ID cards in an unauthorized manner under penalty of fine, imprisonment or both.

- Unauthorized use would exist if the bearer uses the card in a manner that would enable the bearer to obtain benefits and privileges to which he or she is not entitled.

- The cardholder may allow photocopying of their ID card to facilitate DoD benefits.

If the merchant asks any member to photocopy an ID card, the member should simply state to the merchant that Air Force rules strictly prohibit this action but simply showing proof of the ID card to the merchant should be sufficient enough to receive the discount. If the merchant still insists that they must photocopy the ID card to satisfy company policies, then the member should ask to speak to the individual's supervisor or call someone within the merchants customer service department to explain why photocopying of a military ID card is prohibited in order to receive the discount.

There might be some merchants that you encounter that will still insist on photocopying the ID card no matter how much you explain to them the circumstances. In this instance maybe the discount is not worth your privacy or security and for that matter our national security.