This military world can be a little overwhelming when you first get married. We all still have to go through the same hoops to earn the title “dependent”, whether you had a small elopement or large scale wedding with military uniforms. I am the wife of a Marine and was a previous Marine Corps girlfriend. It is definitely worth all the heartache you may first encounter getting everything set up.
TIP- Learn your spouse’s social security number as soon as possible because you almost never use your own.
How to Update DEERS
Before you can be issued a military ID card or receive Tricare benefits, you will need to be enrolled in DEERS. Only your servicemember can do this (you will need a copy of your marriage certificate) and it can be accomplished one of three ways:
- Online through the DEERs address update
- You can call 1-800-538-9552 and talk with a DEERS representative.
- You can visit the military personnel office nearest you and update the information in person.
How to get enrolled in Tricare?
Once you listed in the DEERS system, you can enroll in Tricare. You will need to select a benefit plan which fits you best. The majority of military dependants have Prime and Standard. You will need to know your spouse’s social security number.
How do I get a military ID?
Once you are enrolled in DEERS, you can obtain your military ID from your closest military ID installation. This means that if your spouse is stationed in CA and you live near an army base in Colorado, you can go to the army base in Colorado to get your ID. Always bring along a copy of your marriage license just in case; you never know if the system will be down or if there were possible errors when you were originally put into DEERS. If you have children over 10 years old, they will need a military ID as well.
How do I get military decals on my car?
The car must be registered and insured in either your name or your spouses name. You will have to bring your Driver’s License, Proof of Insurance, and Registration with you when you come to the Vehicle Registration Office. Some states also require you (like California) to pass a SMOG test and require the certificate to be brought in as well. Check with the military police (PMO) to find out where the closest registration office is.
If I move and am married to an active duty Marine, do I have to get a new driver’s license?
Maybe. The military spouse residency relief act has helped dependents bypass laws that only protected our servicemembers. This new law allows us to keep our record of home for tax and possibly driver’s license purposes, no matter where we get stationed. Check it out and verify your status.
Legal Name Change Steps and Guidance
Start the process of changing your name legally, if you choose to do so:
Driver’s License and Registration (check with your specific state)
County or State Voter Registration
Doctors, Dentists, et al
Financial Information: including bank accounts, credit cards, students loans, etc.
Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services for those who aren’t US citizens
Will the Marine Corps pay for my move to be with my spouse?
My spouse is in the service currently:
My Marine is in Bootcamp (Enlisted) or Training at The Basic School (Officers):
If your spouse is already at Boot Camp (enlisted) or The Basic School (officers): If you are married before they receive their orders to their first official duty station, they will pay for one move of goods from one location to the duty station assigned. This means that they will either pay for 1) the stuff that is currently with your spouse or 2) the stuff that is currently with you. Whoever has more stuff, have the military move that individual. Then do a partial dity with the other group of stuff. Remember everything has to be approved in advance before you can expect reimbursement for a partial dity.
My Marine is already stationed at a base:
If your spouse has already received orders to the duty station and you are not married -or- has already moved to the duty station, they military will not pay for your move or provide you monies to relocate.
My spouse is looking to become a Marine:
Your spouse will receive assistance with getting themselves to their assigned training station. Once orders are received, they will move your belongings and provide monies for transportation. Note if you are not listed as a spouse on official records, you will need to do this to get funded properly.
Make sure that you are aware and comply with any seat belts laws where you move.