Common Access Card (CAC)

The CAC, a "smart" card about the size of a credit card, is the standard identification for active duty uniformed service personnel, Selected Reserve, DoD civilian employees, and eligible contractor personnel. It is also the principal card used to enable physical access to buildings and controlled spaces, and it provides access to DoD computer networks and systems.

Card Topology

CAC card front CAC card back

Card Types & Eligibility

The four different types of cards are listed below. The card you will be eligible for will be determined by your "Sponsor," the person affiliated with the DoD or other federal agency responsible for verifying and authorizing your need for an ID card. The uses of the card depend on the component/Command that you support. Each component/Command can customize the CAC to meet its specific needs.

Are you a sponsor? Visit the Sponsorship & Eligibility section of the ID Card Lifecycle for more details on this process.

Card Type Recipients Affiliation
Armed Forces of the United States Geneva Conventions Identification Card

Armed Forces of the United States Geneva Conventions Identification Card

The standard card for active duty personnel in accordance with Geneva Convention requirements.

  • Active Duty Armed Forces
  • Selected Reserves
  • National Guard
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • U.S. Public Health Services
  • Displays branch of Service
U.S. DoD and/or Uniformed Services Identification Card

U.S. DoD and/or Uniformed Services Identification Card

The standard card for qualifying civilian employees, contractors, and foreign national affiliates who need access to DoD facilities, installations, and computer systems.

  • DoD and uniformed services civilian employees (appropriated and nonappropriated)
  • Eligible DoD, USCG, and NOAA contractors
  • Non-DoD civilian employees to include: USCG and NOAA, state employees working in support of the National Guard, Intergovernmental Personnel Act employees, and non-DoD federal employees working in support of DoD
  • Senior Executive Service (SES)
  • Civilians
  • Contractors
  • Civilian affiliates
  • Federal affiliates
  • Military affiliates
U.S. DoD and/or Uniformed Services Geneva Conventions Identification Card for Civilians Accompanying the Armed Forces

U.S. DoD and/or Uniformed Services Geneva Conventions Identification Card for Civilians Accompanying the Armed Forces

The standard card for civilians accompanying the Armed Forces.

  • Emergency-essential civilian employees
  • Contingency contractor personnel
  • Senior Executive Service (SES)
  • Civilians
  • Contractors
U.S. DoD and/or Uniformed Services Identification and Privilege Card

U.S. DoD and/or Uniformed Services Identification and Privilege Card

The standard card granting applicable benefits and privileges for civilian employees, contractors, and foreign national military, as well as other eligible personnel.

  • DoD and uniformed services civilian employees (appropriated and nonappropriated) when required to reside on a military installation within CONUS, HI, AK, Puerto Rico, and Guam, or when stationed or employed and residing in foreign countries for at least 365 days
  • DoD contractors when stationed or employed and residing in foreign countries for at least 365 days
  • DoD Presidential appointees
  • Uniformed and non-uniformed full-time paid personnel of the Red Cross assigned to duty with the uniformed services within CONUS, HI, AK, Puerto Rico, and Guam, when required to reside on a military installation, or in foreign countries
  • Eligible foreign military
  • Senior Executive Service (SES)
  • Civilians
  • Contractors
  • Civilian affiliates
  • Federal affiliates
  • Military affiliates
Color Coding
Blue Bar: Non-U.S. Citizen

Blue Bar: Non-U.S. Citizen

Green Bar: Contractors

Green Bar: Contractors

White: All Remaining Personnel

White: All Remaining Personnel