Photocopying Your Military Identification Card Is Illegal And Punishable By Fine And Or Jail


Did you know that photocopying a military identification card is illegal and punishable by a fine, being imprisoned no more than six months or both?  Think about that the next time you are doing business with a company that requests that you provide them with a photocopy of your military identification card as proof of your affiliation with the military.

Title 18, US Code Part I, Chapter 33, Section 701 states:

Whoever manufactures, sells, or possesses any badge, identification card, or other insignia, of the design prescribed by the head of any department or agency of the United States for use by any officer or employee thereof, or any colorable imitation thereof, or photographs, prints, or in any other manner makes or executes any engraving, photograph, print, or impression in the likeness of any such badge, identification card, or other insignia, or any colorable imitation thereof, except as authorized under regulations made pursuant to law, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 731; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(E), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2146.)


Many military members and their families are not aware of this law.  If a business requires that photo identification be photocopied, you should present them with your state-issued identification such as a drivers license.

The restriction does not apply to medical establishments (i.e. doctor’s office, hospitals, etc…) who are allowed take a copy for the purpose of filing insurance claims; and other government agencies in the performance of official government business.

Leave a Reply