On August 10, 2009, U.S. Army North published a Force Protection Advisory (0050-09-FPA) entitled Photocopying of Military Identification Cards. It stated "Recent incidents regarding the photocopying of military identification cards and common access cards (CAC) by commercial establishments to verify military affiliation or provide government rates for service have been reported. Commanders and Supervisors are reminded that the photocopying of US Government Identification is a violation of Title 18, US Code Part I, Chapter 33, Section 701, January 3, 2007, and punishable by both fine and imprisonment." Many military members, family member and DoD employees are unaware of this law.
The advisory was since rescinded by the Army on August 13, 2009, but it has caused confusion among Military personnel and providers alike in the West Region about copying military ID cards. Per Department of Defense (DoD) instruction and reinforced in the TRICARE Provider Handbook, it is both allowable and advisable for providers to copy a beneficiary's ID card to facilitate eligibility verification and for the purpose of rendering needed services. The DoD recommends that providers copy both sides of the ID card and retain copies for future reference.