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Lost Your CAC Card? Prove It, Pentagon Says

Defense Department file photo

Starting this spring, Pentagon personnel attempting to obtain replacement identification cards will be required to present documentation verifying theirs have been taken or misplaced, according to Defense Department officials. 

Showing proof of the need for a duplicate "common access card" currently is optional. 

“Beginning in late March [or] early April of this year, we are going to begin fully enforcing current common access card policy, which will require individuals to bring supporting documentation if they have had their ID cards lost or stolen," said Sam Yousef, a Pentagon program manager for ID and benefits policy. "If you have your card lost or stolen, you should work with your local security office or the individual sponsoring you for that ID card."

The certification must appear on Defense component letterhead and explain why the CAC card went missing, he added. 

"If the card has been stolen," Yousef said, "they may also bring in the police report that accounts for that."

CAC cards permit authorized civilian and military employees to access military networks and facilities.

Officials made no mention of recent unauthorized use of Pentagon credentials, such as the case of Aaron Alexis, who reportedly had a card that allowed him access to the Navy Yard but not to the office building where he later opened fire, killing 12 people. 

Lawmakers have urged overhauling the procedures and policies for acquiring security clearances, which allow personnel to obtain CAC cards.  A House Oversight and Government Reform Committee staff report released the same day noted that Alexis used "a valid Common Access Card" to enter the facility. 

Yousef described the new mandate as an additional security precaution and a way to prevent people from replacing their cards merely for convenience.

"It creates better awareness with our local security offices [and] our individuals that are sponsoring our contractors for common access cards," he said. "So this way, they have full oversight if someone is losing multiple ID cards."

Yousef said that most card issuing locations have been requiring certification already for quite some time.

The supporting documentation will be scanned and stored in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System.

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