The process of rolling out ID cards to ex-Armed Forces personnel is "taking longer" than planned, the Veterans Minister has said.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Johnny Mercer said there are "challenges around future-proofing" the card and protecting it "against fraudulent use".
He added that service leavers are already receiving the cards, with “phase one” of the roll-out now having been completed, but it was hoped that the entire scheme would be in place by the end of 2019.
Last February, it was announced that any personnel who have left the military since December 2018 would automatically be given one of the new ID cards, allowing them to maintain a link to their career in the forces.
It was proposed that the cards would allow veterans to verify their service to the NHS, local authorities and charities, helping them to access support and services when needed.
But the Government has admitted the process will take longer.
Giving an update on the scheme to Conservative MP for Colne Valley, Jason McCartney, Mr Mercer said: "There are challenges around future-proofing and safeguarding against fraudulent use which means the process for phase two to roll out to existing veterans is taking longer than I hoped.
"I hope to have some progress for [Mr McCartney] by the end of the year."
He added that service leavers have received the ID card.
The Ministry of Defence said that phase one, ensuring service leavers receive an ID card, is complete, and that phase two will involve extending the scheme to existing veterans.
Cover image: MOD.