5 Steps to Becoming an Officially Married Couple in the Military

The federal government and military have said “Yes, you can,” and you and the love of your life said “I do.” Now it is time to become an official military couple.

Click on the title to read more.

Step One:  Get enrolled in DEERS -

Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System is a database of military sponsors and family members who are entitled under the law to military healthcare benefits. Active-duty and retired service members are automatically registered in DEERS, but they must register their family members.

To enroll a civilian spouse, you will need:

1. Marriage certificate (original or certified copy).

2. Print-out from the Social Security Administration Office with new name and social security number if there is a change in the last name. (SSA requires certified marriage application).

3. Two forms of valid ID:

    a. Driver’s license or current passport (photo ID).

    b. Social security card or letter from SSA, Marriage certificate (original or certified copy).

    c. Final divorce decree, if applicable.

 To enroll a stepchild, or adopted child, you will need:

1. State birth certificate (original or certified copy) or Live Birth Record from hospital (including father’s, mother’s, and infant’s information; signed by the doctor or nurse).

2. Marriage certificate (original or certified copy).

3. Social security card or letter from SSA with name and SS#. Note: Enrollment of Stepchildren: Divorce Decree required if spouse was previously married to a Service Member.

To find out where to register, visit your local uniformed services personnel office or contact the Defense Manpower Data Center Support Office (DSO) at 1-800-538-9552.

You can also find the nearest uniformed services personnel office at: http://www.dmdc.osd.mil/rsl/


Step two:  Get military dependent ID card -

It is the way that military family members access everything, from base access and post/base exchanges and commissaries, to medical facilities and the gym.

 To obtain a dependent ID, you will need:

All of the paperwork that you needed to enroll in DEERS (your marriage license and other personal identification like birth certificate, driver’s license, passport, social security card, etc.), plus Department of Defense Form 1172 (which is generated when you are register in DEERS).

 To make an appointment, go to: https://rapids-appointments.dmdc.osd.mil/


Step three: Update Servicemember's Group Life Insurance policy and Record of Emergency Data sheet (DD Form 93) -

 SGLI is a Veteran’s Administration program that provides life insurance to members of the Uniformed Services. Service members are automatically insured under SGLI for the maximum amount of $400,000 unless the service member changes it, reducing the insurance by $50,000 increments or canceling it entirely. SGLI coverage also includes Traumatic Injury Protection. This coverage provides protection against loss due to traumatic injuries and is designed to provide financial assistance to members so their loved ones can be with them during their recovery from their injuries.  The coverage ranges from $25,000 to $100,000 depending on the nature of the injury.

DD Form 93 (Record of Emergency Data) is the legal document that entitles the beneficiaries of certain benefits in the event of a Soldier’s death or if they are determined missing. This document is also used to identify the primary next of kin, the secondary next of kin, beneficiaries of death gratuity and unpaid allowances, and designates the person authorized to direct disposition of remains

 For more information, go to: http://www.benefits.va.gov/INSURANCE/resources_handbook_ins.asp

 To update the beneficiary information on SGLI and DD Form 93, the service member must go to his/her local personnel office.


 Step four: Determine whether you should and can change your state and federal income tax status to reflect your marital status - 

 Check here to see if your marriage is recognized in your state: http://whiteknot.org/map.html

 Check with the legal office or Voluntary Income Tax Assistance program on the installation to ensure you are making the best decision for your personal finances.


Step five: Determine if you want to live on base or off base-

To apply for government housing: Put your name on the waiting list at the housing office If you elect to live on base, all your housing costs and utilities (except phone, Internet, cable, etc.) will be provided, but you will not receive an additional housing allowance in your pay. If you prefer to live off base, ask for a list of off-base housing.





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  • commented 2017-02-08 22:48:08 -0500
    How do you register to be an Army Wife and what does it cost
  • commented 2016-10-16 12:57:02 -0400
    So I’m moving on October 17th and when I come back to Alaska to visit in December my fiancé wants to get married by how long will all the paperwork take?
  • commented 2016-09-08 19:11:14 -0400
    OK question I am in AZ and my fiance is in KS, due to my job I cant fly up there to do the paper work and I also can’t send all of my info up there because I need it on me at all times. Can I fax it or scan them to the office where I start the DEERS process?