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ID Card Scanning FAQ

Question Answer

Why is DeCA scanning Department of Defense ID Cards?

Due to the increased availability of secure technology, DeCA will be able to fulfill its requirement under DoD Instruction 1330.17 to positively identify authorized customers at the point of purchase by scanning your card's barcode at the register and comparing it to the Defense Enrollment Eligibility System (DEERS), the official repository showing eligibility for military benefits.

Question Answer

Which commissaries will be using ID card scanning procedures?

ID card scanning is in effect at all commissaries worldwide.

Question Answer

What information does DeCA obtain?

When we cross-reference the ID card barcode with DEERS, DeCA will obtain basic demographic information, strictly limited to ID number, rank, military status (active duty/retired/dependent), branch of service, age, household size and zip codes of residence and duty station.

Question Answer

Why does DeCA need this information?

As explained above, ID card scanning verifies that an individual is authorized to shop in the commissary. In addition, the basic demographic information we obtain will enable us to provide products and services directly related to the entire patron base – not individuals – at specific commissary locations and allow more accurate reporting on commissary usage to the military services.

Question Answer

What if my card does not have a barcode or my installation commander has designated me as an agent for an authorized customer?

While there are a small number of older ID cards without barcodes, we have procedures in place to accommodate these customers as well as designated agents. Our customer service personnel are trained on these procedures and are ready to serve you at checkout!

Question Answer

How can DeCA ensure my personal information is secure?

The only information that will be collected at the register is the ID card barcode value, which is not your Social Security or DoD ID number and does not personally identify individual customers; specific, personal data about a customer will not be collected. This information, and the basic demographic information that we obtain from DEERS, will be stored behind DeCA's "firewall," which has physical, administrative and technical controls in place, as required by DoD regulations and the Privacy Act.

Question Answer

Why is ID card scanning mandatory?

Since only authorized patrons may use the commissary, and ID card scanning will be the means of verification, no patrons may opt out from these procedures. This practice is consistent with other DoD endeavors to use technology to verify an individual's status, such as scanning ID cards at the entrances of military installations.

Question Answer

Will customers with expired ID cards still be allowed to purchase their groceries?

Customers must present valid ID cards in order for commissaries to positively identify them as authorized customers, as required by DoD Instruction 1330.17. Unfortunately, this means that customers with expired cards will not be permitted to make commissary purchases until they renew their ID cards at a local military Pass & ID office. You can use the RAPIDS site locator on the Defense Manpower and Data Center’s (DMDC) website at to find a military Pass & ID office near you.

Question Answer

Why do I have to both show my ID card and scan it at the register?

When you present your ID card at the register, the cashier must conduct visual verification to confirm that you are the cardholder by looking at the photograph on your card. In addition, DoD Instruction 1330.17 grants installation commanders the discretion to institute 100% ID checks at commissary entrances for security purposes. Because these are separate requirements, your card must be shown and scanned at the register, even if it was also shown at the entrance; we regret any inconvenience this may cause you.

Question Answer

Will the ID card be scanned before the transaction begins? Will a customer scan his or her own card at the register?

Yes; your card will be scanned before checkout begins. If you’re using a self-checkout, you will hand your card to the attendant, who will conduct visual verification, then hand the card back to you so you can scan it and proceed with checkout. If you’re using one of our other registers, the cashier will scan the card when you present it for visual verification.

Question Answer

Why does the cashier still need to scan my Commissary Rewards Card after scanning my DoD ID?

These two cards are independent of each other and serve different purposes. We do not collect specific, personal information about you when we scan your ID card, and we cannot link it to your Commissary Rewards Card.

Question Answer

Who is collecting this information? Where is the data stored?

Only the Defense Commissary Agency – and not a third party – is collecting this information. The data we obtain will be secured in an encrypted database at DeCA Headquarters; it will not be stored at any of our commissaries or visible to store-level employees.

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