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What you need to know to renew CAC/ID card

The Military Personnel Flight which includes the ID Card section at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, provides a variety of services to active duty and retired military, reservists, civilian employees, and families. New ID card appointment slots for the following month are released after 1600 on the first Friday of every month. (U.S. Air Force photo by Wesley Farnsworth)

The Military Personnel Flight which, includes the ID Card section at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, provides a variety of services to active-duty and retired military, reservists, civilian personnel and families. New ID card appointment slots are released after 4 p.m. the first Friday of every month, but the availability window is for the following month. (U.S. Air Force photo by Wesley Farnsworth)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Getting your common access card or other IDs renewed can be a bit challenging due to the pandemic, but the Wright-Patterson AFB ID Card Office can assist in getting the job done.

There are many ways to secure an appointment through the Real-Time Automated Personnel Identification System website scheduler and ID office, according to 88th Force Support Squadron and Military Personnel Flight officials.

RAPIDS ID scheduler

Military, civilians, contractors, retirees and family members can make appointments through RAPIDS ID Card Office Online at https://idco.dmdc.osd.mil/idco or www.wrightpattfss.com/military-personnel. Select your ID card selection type, then follow the instructions.

“When you put your date range in the scheduler, it will actually search through each date to find an available opening for you at the bottom, and it’ll keep flipping through until it finds one,” said Senior Master Sgt. Lonnie Locklear, Military Personnel Flight superintendent.

The RAPIDS scheduler displays available appointments after 4 p.m. the first Friday of each month, but the window is for the following month. Customers can use the selection arrows to choose the next month to schedule an appointment.

“It’s a little misleading when you go on the system and it says, ‘Fully booked, fully booked, fully booked,’ because in reality, we only release them one month before,” said 1st Lt. Katherine Yatko, Military Personnel Flight commander.  

When personnel proceed to the next month, they will see available appointments and can schedule from there. (For instance, customers could access the scheduler on the first Friday in February and it would have displayed the February calendar. They could then forward the calendar to March. March is where the new appointments were displayed, along with one day in February).

“Once on RAPIDS, the scheduler will scroll through that month, showing what days and times are available for that month,” said Tech. Sgt. Chavon Hood, the Military Personnel Flight’s Customer Service Section chief.

Officials said ID card appointments are being released one month at a time, along with once-a-month walk-in options, to allow everyone a chance at securing a time. 

“When we were just releasing them at the beginning of the month, they were completely booking up within a couple of days, and there was no opportunity for people to try and check back at any point throughout the month to get an appointment,” Yatko said. “So we opened up the bulk of the appointments a month before and then we open up more appointments weekly.”

Additional RAPIDS options

If customers are unable to secure an appointment on the RAPIDS scheduler the first Friday of the month, they have two additional options:

The first is for customers to check the RAPIDS scheduler each Friday of the month after 4 p.m. to view any new appointments that may have become available from the ID Office’s weekly audit of cancellations.

Hood said the office conducts weekly audits to make sure all eligible personnel are getting the appointments they need.

“It’s important that customers try to keep their appointment once they book them because we provide quite a few appointments throughout the day,” Hood added, “but we have a lot of people who don’t show up and that could be potential appointments for other customers. Contacting the office when a cancellation is needed would open up the schedule for other customers.”

The second option is to arrive early for a walk-in appointment, which is only offered to the first 30 customers the first Monday of each month, beginning at 8 a.m. This service is set to start in March.

“For those who are in excess of 30, they may return the first Monday of the following month for a walk-in appointment, or they can use the RAPIDS scheduler,” Yatko said.

Customer support

Personnel can call the ID office’s customer service line at 937-522-3664 or send an email to wpidcards@us.af.mil for questions and document changes, but not to secure an appointment. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

In the event there is no answer or a busy tone, the Military Personnel Flight recommends you call back because ID card technicians are more than likely assisting other customers.

“We want people to schedule through the RAPIDS website,” Yatko said. “We do have a really high volume of calls (and) people might get the pre-recorded message or a busy tone, so we recommend they call back because if there are so many calls stacking, the system won’t necessarily hold them all in the queue.”

ID Office coverage area

The 88th Air Base Wing’s ID Office services a six-state region, which includes Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. In Ohio alone, there are over 60,000 potential customers.

“We want the chance to fix any issue the customer may have so we will know how to improve in the future,” Locklear said.

If personnel or family members have additional questions or scheduling issues, they should contact the ID office by phone.

“Our office is doing its absolute best to be creative and flexible to try and get availability out there,” Yatko said. “We are again trying to make sure people receive the same information and understand that information before they book an appointment, essentially knowing that we are going to do everything we can to get people taken care of.”