How to Become a USAA Member Even If You Aren’t in the Military

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USAA is a fantastic financial institution with so many upsides, such as outstanding customer service and an unparalleled online platform.

I highly recommend you check them out for investments, insurance, or banking in general.

Unfortunately, USAA doesn’t do a stellar job of clarifying membership eligibility requirements. So I have taken the time to outline them here and provide my insight as a USAA member.

This is a follow-up post to How an Electronic Envelope System Helped Us Pay Off $150,000 in Debt which you can read here:

How an Electronic Envelope System Helped Us Pay Off Over $150,000 in Debt

So let’s begin by discussing a common myth about USAA membership:

USAA Membership is Only For Active/Former Military: FALSE

This is a common misconception. Even though USAA is marketing itself as proudly serving the U.S. military (see picture below), they have actually widened the eligibility requirements to include regular civilians who are immediate family members of service members…

But when you see ads like this online, it confuses the issue. This ad seems to indicate that USAA is only for “those who serve”, A.K.A. service members and “their family members”, A.K.A. service members’ spouse and children:

But it’s not the whole picture!

I’m a USAA Member and Neither My Wife nor I Served in the Military

Short and sweet:

1. My wife’s dad was in the military.
2. He became a USAA member AND got auto insurance
3. At this point, my wife became eligible for membership
4. 
My wife became a USAA member AND got auto insurance
5. After we got married, I became eligible for membership
6. Now that we have kids, they are eligible!

There Are Different Levels of Membership!

Yes! Not all USAA members qualify to have their spouse or children become USAA members.

To help explain this principle, I’m going to create two new terms here:

  • Level 1 USAA Member: a USAA Member with basic checking/savings
  • Level 2 USAA Member: a USAA Member (same as above), but who also holds USAA auto or property insurance.

If you are a Level 1 USAA Member, your children and spouse are not eligible to become a USAA member.

Once you become a Level 2 USAA Member, your children and spouse are now eligible to become a USAA member.

Another key point is that military status and history no longer matter once you gain Level 2 USAA Membership. Once you are a Level 2 USAA Member, the following apply:

  • Your spouse and children are eligible for USAA Membership
  • Your spouse and children can also become Level 2 USAA members
  • If your spouse and children become Level 2 USAA members, their spouses and children are also eligible, and on and on it goes…

Remember that I just made up the terms “Level 1” and “Level 2” to keep things separate. USAA doesn’t actually use these terms.

At Some Point, None of the Family needs to Have Served in the Military

From the USAA website, the following people are eligible:

  • Active, retired and honorably separated officers and enlisted personnel of the U.S. military.
  • Officer candidates in commissioning programs (Academy, ROTC, OCS/OTS).
  • Adult children (18+) of USAA members who have or had a USAA auto or property insurance policy.
  • Widows and widowers of USAA members who have or had a USAA auto or property insurance policy.

Notice the last two bullets which mention “children and widows of USAA members.” It doesn’t say “children of active/former military.”

“Active/Former Military” Does Not Equal “USAA Member”

Serving in the U.S. military does not make you an automatic USAA member. You actually have to sign up to become a USAA member.

So, if you have a parent or spouse who served or currently serves in the U.S. military, then you should encourage them to sign up!

As mentioned above…once they sign up, they are a only Level 1 USAA Member until they get auto or property insurance. At that point, they’ll be a full-fledged Level 2 USAA Member.

Thank You For Your Leadership and Your Sacrifice!

As I wrote this, I felt like I was saying, “See?! You don’t need to join the military!” So I thought it was important to say that I have so much respect and am so thankful for the people who serve our country.

I just want to make sure that everyone who has military (immediate) family members understands their eligibility because USAA is such a great bank.

Go check them out to see if you qualify for services.

I hope this was helpful for you!

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314 Replies to “How to Become a USAA Member Even If You Aren’t in the Military”

      1. . I receive VA benefits.Have a VA loan.A USAA credit card. But the canceled my auto insurance because I was separated (under honorable conditions) There’s 3 discharges honorable,dishonorable and court marshalled.Since I had a fight while in Vietnam I was discharged under honorable conditions.

      2. My father, who is deceased now, was a lieutenant in the Navy. He was in Pearl Harbor and survived. To my knowledge, he didn’t sign up for USSA. So does that mean I am not eligible?

        1. My father was in the army as a sergeant in the Pacific Ocean. Would I qualify to be a member of USSA insurance if he had passed?
          Lorna D

        2. Yes, you would not be eligible. Membership can be “inherited”, not eligibility. This is why it is so important for eligible servicemen and -women to seek membership, if not simply for the benefit to their descendants.

        3. My father, who is deceased now, was in the Navy. He was discharged in 1947, To my knowledge, he didn’t sign up for USSA. So does that mean I am not eligible?

        4. Unfortunately you are not, because he did not have USAA, I also asked that question, and was told no because my father didn’t sign up. I feel cheated, It shouldn’t matter once a military you and your dependents should have all access right. IJS

        5. I believe we are in the same situation. My father (now deceased) was in the Air Force, but to my knowledge, never joined USAA. So, I’m not eligible to join USAA. Kind of strange barrier, but that’s their policy. I called and they confirmed.

        6. I want to know too. My father was a medic on the 1st Merchant Marine ship at Nagasaki. I have been sick my whole life. Do I qualify?
          My father came home in late1945 and I was consived.

        7. I have the same question. My late
          Dad was WWII as well. He never signed upand my late husband, Nam era, never signed up
          Either.

      3. I am a widower and a retired navy veteran and I have a significant other who’s husband was a honorably discharged veteran however he was never a USAA member so she does not appear eligible is this correct?

        1. If her husband passed away and she has not been remarried when she signs up with USAA then she will be eligible under her deceased husband as a widow. If they are simply divorced then she will not be eligible.

        2. As it stands, I believe your significant other is not currently eligible for USAA membership. However, you two could choose to marry, and you (singular) could join USAA and get auto/ property insurance, then your s/o- spouse would become eligible for USAA membership.

        3. My late husband served in the Navy during World War II.
          I have all the necessary papers; however, he was not a member
          of USAA. Am I eligible to join USAA?

        1. No, you do not qualify. It works down, not up. Now if you were in the Marines, and had a policy, and he was not in the Military he would qualify through you. (I think, am not sure if being a natural or step-related relative matters or not.)

      1. Hey John, according to USAA’s site, if you are active, retired, or honorably separated, you’re eligible for USAA membership. Go for it!!

        1. I am a 65-year old woman whose deceased father served in WWII. I don’t have any documents to prove this; only photographs and lots of medals. Would I be eligible? Like others, the advertisements on TV make this bank sound so much more appealing than my credit union.

          1. I would call them. My mom (widow) and her husbands children were in similar situation. He never joined and none of them were eligible. They did however refer her to a company who found her better insurance rates than she currently had. I would call and see if you can do the same to compare. It is a nice legacy to pass along and I wish I had checked he has joined vs. believing him when he said he did. Would have saved my mom hundreds a year.

          1. No, not based only on her father’s service. Her father would have had to have been a USAA member AND extended that membership to your wife.

      2. Fax your DD214 to them and open a simple savings account with 25.00 keep copies of the DD214 for family members to use in the future so they can become members as well for generations to come. Great place have all enlisted get auto ,renters insurance ( which will replace damaged ,lost or stolen military gear as well as personal items ) and valuable property insurance. .better prices than other companies., covers you wirldwide. SPREAD THE WORD.

        1. Diane, thanks for adding this detail. I hope it’s helpful for John and for anyone else in the same situation looking into how to become a USAA member.

          1. My father died when I was four. How would I know if he ever had this insurance? Would I be able to use my brother’s information?

        2. I called them and explained my father was a Korean War Veteran and was deceased. He never joined before passing away and they said that neither my mother nor myself were eligible to join.

    1. You or someone in your immediate family has to serve in the military. You can’t just be an civilian with no affiliation that walks in and opens an account. The commercials state that the membership is something that can be handed down from generation to generation.

      1. Todd, sorry, your statement just isn’t accurate. I’m a USAA member, and no one in my immediate family served in the military. My wife didn’t either. Read my post for more information.

        1. Greetings,

          I am working in Afghanistan as an employee with USAID starting from 2013 up to now, but not a military. I am wondering If I can become USAA member. Please advise.
          Respectfully,

          1. I agree with you. I’ve tried getting USAA in past and have been turned down. I would love to hear back as to why parents aren’t eligible.

          2. Almost guarantee you are eligible if you want to join give them a call. It’s easy just because you never join does not dismiss you from being eligible you always have that eligibility rather you sign up or not!! There for you it’s your choice.

          3. I like to know the answer to this one.
            My son was in the Arm Forces and I would love to have my auto insurance with USAA
            Is there a way? Would I need to also have a savings and checking account with them?

        2. It’s very disingenuous to phrase it this way.

          YOUR WIFE IS THE CHILD OF FORMER MILITARY. There’s her eligibility. Stop pretending like there’s zero military connection.

          1. Hi KS, just summarizing some key points in the post that address your comment:

            1. “USAA Membership is Only For Active/Former Military: FALSE”
            2. “they(USAA) have actually widened the eligibility requirements to include regular civilians who are immediate family members of service members”
            3. “I’m a USAA Member and Neither My Wife nor I Served in the Military”
            4. “At Some Point, None of the Family needs to Have Served in the Military”

            Which of these statements would you say is disingenuous, or untrue? Regarding bullet #4, when my children get married, their spouses and children will be eligible for USAA membership… neither my wife nor I would have had any military experience, and so on for generations. No military experience needed once a family member has “Level 2” membership as I describe above. Happy Memorial Day. 🙂

        3. I think what Todd means is – a civilian can’t walk in off of the street and become a member, which is an accurate statement. An immediate family member needs to be active/retired (honorably). Your wife’s father (her immediate family) enrolled and became a member…which allowed her to join. Since she became an active member…. you were able to join. So yes, your immediate family (wife and children) aren’t active duty/retired military. But your wife’s immediate family (father) was – and he is where the membership began.

          I think some people in this thread are missing the starting point of the membership. And that is with a living active duty/retired vet becoming a member and having insurance through USAA. Once that step is established – the membership can be handed down to non-service members.

          This was a really helpful article – it clarified quite a bit. I’m glad my google search landed me here. Thank you!

        4. Actually, Todd is correct. Your wife’s father is her immediate family. Because you are married to her and she had membership, that makes you eligible as her immediate family. But a little known fact…. The only people who are actually rated USAA are the members who served and USAA employees who have been with the company 5 yrs or longer. Everyone else is rated with: USAA County Mutual, USAA GIC, USAA Garrison, etc.

      2. My dad served in the US Navy as a dentist. However, he died when I was 15. My mom died in 1995. I thought I could join USAA now but they told me I wasn’t eligible because they weren’t alive. That doesn’t make any sense to me!

        1. Yes, I encountered a similar situation. My husband was a WWII veteran but never signed up before he died. Therefore I am not eligible . But step children of veterans are. Makes no sense.

          1. The step children are only eligible if the step parent has established their membership. Then it can beer passed down to the step children.

        2. You could have joined IF your dad had been a member before he died. If he wasn’t a member, then no, you’re ineligible. But you could join now, serve, and become a USAA member immediately!

        3. My father was in the military and is now deceased. He did not have Insurance
          Is there any way that I can qualify?

          1. I agree! My grandfather fought in WWII and my dad served in the Army. We didn’t hear as much about USAA back then. They have now both passed so I am also not eligible. Doesn’t seem fair

          2. my husband was in the air force and is deceased and my son was in the air force for 23 years. I did not know about the insurance until lately. I get an aid and attendance pension now. How do I get insurance for my renters and car?
            Pamala G.

          3. My husband was a private in the Korean War and was honorably discharged. He died in 1987. As his widow am I eligible for any of the benefits of USAA?

        4. I believe the eligibility has to do with the fact that your parents were not USAA members. My father served in the Air Force, but he never joined USAA, therefore, my mother is not eligible. My husband served in the Army and joined USAA, we have been members for forty years, and our children and grandchildren are members.
          The author states that no one in his immediate family was a military member, but some family member in his past had to have been a military member who joined USAA.

          1. Bingo. My wife’s father is a USAA member and also had USAA insurance, so my wife became a member because she was his daughter. When I married my wife, I became one.

          2. Exactly! My grandfather was a WW2 vet and never signed up, so my dad was never eligible. My husband step father is retired navy, and is a USAA member. That automatically qualifies my husband for USAA. Once he signed up for it, then I qualified. We both are members with auto insurance, homeowners insurance and valuable property insurance. Since we signed up for auto insurance, all 3 of our children are now members. When the get married and have kids, they will be eligible too!! I was always under the impression that you HAD to me direct military to qualify

        5. The rules have changed over time. Some time prior to 1975 when I joined, USAA was only active and retired officers. When I joined you remained a member when you left service. If your dad was a member, he probably remained a member. The problem may have been caused by your mom. Ask USAA to review your personal situation. DO NOT USE WEB SITE. If necessary, send them a letter. Some one in your past may have caused you to be unable to join.

      3. They have opened up membership to some civil servants, such as police. Employees can also become members without military service.

        1. Please check on police officer eligibility without basic eligiblity Have not heard being peace officer will allow membership. Possibly some thing new. Yes, employees are allowed to be members.

        2. Untrue. I been in Law Enforcement and am retired after 30 years not to mention have worked within government for 35. My father and gfather were in the military however, my father does not want to provide any of his children his USAA number. Just using his ssn, living address and dob are not enough. I still cannot get in so it is far more exclusive than working within the Police and Corrections community. Not to mention just because your father or grandfather were military, if you don’t have their USAA policy number you aren’t getting in!

        3. I am a retired Law Enforcement Officer( 25years ) My brother was i n the navy in Vietnan, so was My cousin who received the Metal of Honer Do I qualify for USAA?

    2. Bottom line.. someone originally had to serve in the service and be a member. Member comes from that person and can be inherited. Think of it that way. I was the service member and now my daughter is a member. If she marries, her spouse can become a member then their children and so forth. I can leave usaa but my daughter is already a member so family line has already been established.

    3. I worked for a military charter airline as an aircraft mechanic during Vietnam conflict hauling cargo to Vietnam and Japan in 1965 – 1967.
      I wish to know whether I am eligible to join USAA. Also , I retired from United airline as an aircraft Inspector after 21 years. Thanks.Raj Oti

  1. Wow, I never knew that Chris! My USAA story is… weird. Julia and I have a joint USAA account. Julia got one because her mom has an account. Julia’s mom has an account because her brother has an account.

    It’s interesting how you can “pass on” memberships, thanks for clarifying!

    1. Yeah, that is an odd story! I’ve seen them make some exceptions. Like, when our children were born, my mother-in-law called USAA, and they created member ID’s for both my kids. I thought that was kind of odd for them to authorize without our approval, etc.

    2. Membership is a legacy. I can hand it down to my daughter or my spouse but I can’t give it to my sister (not that I would extend my membership to psychob*tch).

        1. My husband is retired military with a USAA account, and my name was on his account while we were married. We are now divorced, can I open my own account with USAA?

          1. Some time (had to wait until some speeding tickets aged out) after I was divorced from my former officer husband, I was able to become a member of USAA-CIC, a USAA sister company. Only difference I could ever see that made was that I didn’t get as high of a dividend as did my ex and as did my friend who was the widow of a retired officer. My adult daughter is a member based on her father, as are his current wife and their adult daughters. My current husband and my daughter’s husband become USAA members once they married us. And I see no reason why they would not be able to remain members and to make any new spouses or children eligible for membership.

          2. Yes, that is how I got my membership. When I got divorced I just called and opened my own account, to insure my car in my name only. I was already a member. I have been a member for 22 years. My current husband is also a member through me, and our children. None of us have a connection to the military,

          3. Yes I think they will. I am divorced,I have had USAA coverage for years (my father was in the AF, honorable discharge), thus my husband (now ex) and I had USAA auto insurance and homeowners. He was still eligible after our divorce. I am not sure though if his offspring, spouse, etc. would be eligible. I hope not 🙂

  2. Pretty sure they will allow you to open an investment vehicle as well even if none of the prior applies, I am a member and called about my fiancée joining, she cant until married, but she can open a brokerage account they said.

  3. Both of my sons are former military, my youngest is what you call a level 2 , also my father was a WWII vet but, not sure that there was USAA back then. Am I eligable?

    1. Machelle, your children cannot pass eligibility to you, but your father could. He’d have to have been a USAA member who held an auto or property insurance policy. It sounds like he didn’t, so in that case, you’d be out of luck. Sorry!

    2. Hey Michelle you Actually could still be eligible. My grandpa was military (he’s now passed). He never had USAA but my dad was able to contact them and work it out. There are some hoops you have to go through but I’m 99% sure you can sign up.

        1. I have tried multiple times. If your parent or gparent served in the military that isn’t enough so I am told. You must have his/her dob, last living address on file, ssn, and they must have had a policy with them for which you have their policy number. That is what I have been told now multiple times over the course of the last 5 years but moreso lately last month. Sorry-it is harder to get into than what everyone here is saying if the info I have received from every one of the customer care team in USAA has told me is thus far. Maybe they just aren’t all they are cracked to be since so exclusive? I love GEICO, they’re pound for pound cheaper anyway

    3. If your father didn’t establish membership, you may not be. The best thing to do is call USAA New Member Services and they can answer any questions you have about eligibility because it’s FREQUENTLY changing.

  4. I am the grandparent of a daughter and granddaughter that both
    Served honorably in the military. Does that make me eligible to
    Join?

    1. Carolyn, unfortunately, no it doesn’t. You would have to be the spouse or child of a USAA member who held auto or property insurance. I would encourage your daughter and grand daughter to sign up AND get auto or property insurance through USAA, though!

    2. My son is a civil servant, dtr n law & grandDtr served in the military. I was employed as a Civil servant for over 25 years. My other son’s deceased father served in the military and was a merchant seaman. I lived with him in NJ but NJ doesn’t have common law marriage. I did receive a stipend every month from him. Am I eligible for USAA insurance?

    3. No your children/grandchildren can not get you in. It isn’t passed upwards. You must be handing down the membership say for example a parent to child or a grandparent to grandchildren.
      Reiteration for clarification- your son/daughter cannot hand up to parents or gparents. It must go down the chain of immediate family.

    1. Bill, your dad was eligible for USAA membership, but did he become a member? Unless your dad was a USAA member who held an auto or property insurance policy, you would not be eligible. I hope this helps.

      1. So my dad was in Army Air Corp in WWII. He was never a member of USAA. I have all of his discharge papers and proof he served. Can I or can I not become a member if he was never a member of USAA?

    1. James, as I understand it, since you aren’t currently married to her, you cannot take advantage of the “spouse” rule. Also, she would have had to have been a USAA member who ALSO had auto or property insurance. Again, since she’s not your current spouse, it won’t matter. Sorry, man!

      1. Actually he can get insurance if they aren’t currently married. The only exception is he can’t be remarried and she had to have put him down on her policy when they were married. I’ve been divorced for 10 years but my ex husband had me down on his auto insurance policy when we were married and I’m not remarried so I was still eligible. I’ve been using USAA for 2 years now and I love it. Hope this help!

      2. Disagree Chris. Yes James is eligible if he and the ex wife were members of USAA jointly on an auto, bank or home loan. The key word here is that James and his Ex Wife were members of USAA , and James and she divorced, he is still eligible.

        1. Susan, I see what you’re saying, but in your response, you indicate, “if he and the ex wife were members…”, which I think assumes that he was a member to begin with.

          Operating from the assumption that James was not a member when he was married to his ex-wife, I do not think he’d have eligibility after being divorced. But hey, he can always call and find out. Great discussion. Best of luck James.

  5. I have heard of USAA allowing federal agents (FBI) (DEA) and other Federal law enforcement agencies personal that may not have been a military veteran, to join USAA? I wonder if that is true?
    Conn

    1. Conn, that’s a great question, and I would recommend you contacting USAA (800-531-8722) to find out for sure. Their website doesn’t mention allowing this, and I haven’t personally heard that this is true, but it’s worth a shot. Can you let us know what you find out?

    1. Hi Lana, I didn’t have to do this myself, but I can’t guarantee that USAA’s internal procedures haven’t changed since then. They’ll almost definitely require some form of documentation from you (like any financial institution), such as your social security number and driver’s license. From those documents, they should clearly see that you share a last name and address with your spouse. If something becomes unclear from those documents, let’s say you have different last names or don’t share the same primary address on your driver’s licenses, they could press for more documentation.

  6. I am a dependent spouse. My mother is looking for new auto insurance. Is there any way that she can get membership through me?

    1. Hi Emily, unfortunately, your mother cannot gain eligibility through you. She must gain eligibility from either her spouse or a parent who is a USAA member. Sorry about that!

    1. Angie, USAA’s website uses the term “children” of USAA members, when discussing eligibility. They don’t go into great detail on the definition of “children”, but I would highly recommend that your step dad go ahead and contact USAA and make a case for your eligibility. Good luck!

    1. Hi Lisa, sorry about this, but you cannot gain USAA membership through your children. It must come from your spouse or parents (and of course, they must be USAA members).

  7. I am a usaa member but only because my spouce is active military and a member, BUT if we get a divorce what does that mean for my account that I already have? Will it get cut off? Will I have to find a new bank? Or will I just be able to keep my account and continue use with Usaa

    1. “lnoby” – this is actually a GREAT question! I’m glad you asked.

      Once you become a legitimate USAA member (you’ll have a USAA member number and your own website login etc), you are a member for life! Unless you decide to call them and deactivate your accounts with them, of course. That’s always your right. But have no fear, you’re in for good. 🙂

      Great question, and I hope this helped someone else out there!

  8. I am a USAA member and a friend of mine was a honorable discharged veteran, and is deceased, not a USAA member can his son join under my membership ?

    1. Hi George, I am pretty sure that your friend’s son can only gain eligibility through his own parents. Unless you are his legal guardian, I can’t see this being worth calling to ask USAA, but you could sure try. Best of luck with this.

  9. My late husband was in the military. He didn’t have USAA insurance. I’m retired Homeland Security employee. I was an immigration officer. Am I eligible?

    1. Hi Elaine, I don’t think you’re eligible, based on USAA’s requirements. Homeland Security operates in the civilian sphere, as I understand it. You would need to be active or former military. Since your husband never became a USAA member, you cannot gain eligibility from him either. You might want to contact USAA to ask, though. Good luck!

  10. I have been with USAA now for 17 years and absolutely love them! I have auto insurance, an auto loan, their credit card, life insurance, investments and homeowners insurance.

    They are so professional to deal with, the rates are excellent and their customer service is exceptional. I do not bother shopping around for lower rates, there is absolutely nothing that can take me away from this company. If you have military in the family, see if you can join. You will be so glad you did.

    Here is an example of how they interact with the military – I was on deployment a lot. anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months at a time. Each and every time I left USAA discounted my 2 car insurance by 50%, saving me hundreds of dollars each year. As they told me, your wife and drive either car but she will not be driving both cars at the same time. So why pay insurance for two drivers when that is only one when I am deployed.

    With a claim that I filed for a piece of particle board that fell off a truck in front of me damaging the front left fender and light, USAA provided me a lit of authorized repair shops. I took the car in, there were two checks waiting at the shop. One for the repair to be done, the other for a rent-a-car that had been authorized and waiting for me. The process was so easy and painless. took a large weight off of my shoulders.

    USAA is the best, hands down.

    1. Hey George, I’m the exact same… I don’t shop around because USAA is just worth it. They’re quite comparable in price anyway! Love what they did for you guys when you went on deployments. That sounds like USAA all day long. Thanks for commenting and sharing.

    2. I agree- love USAA for most things. I have all my insurances through them. Their customer service on auto insurance is awesome- especially the really cheap roadside assistance add on. But, you should definitely shop around for loans. USAA’s rate are generally pretty terrible compared to other banks, since they are relatively small compared to most other lenders. I have shopped between USAA and other lenders three times in the past and every time USAA came up with the worst rates of all of the lenders. Still love them and use them for everything else, but wouldn’t recommend using them for loans.

  11. It used to be good until they let non-military join. They have had to hire underqualified people and service has severely suffered. They are basically BoA. Sad

  12. I have a friend hat wants to become a usaa member but her ex husband use to be military but not sure if he had usaa. can my friend use his military experience and get usaa.

  13. Can a Levy could be applied on a USAA Bank account? An account holder owes money to me and there is a court order in my favor. Person who owes us money deposited a check in USAA account. I want to proceed with Bank levy on his account using the court judgment, is it possible? i do not have his account number. I have written USAA at their corporate office with a copy of court order.

    1. Sorry, Chris. I honestly don’t know the answer here. I would recommend contacting USAA’s 800 number which I’ve posted here somewhere in the comments. Good luck.

  14. My father served in the Korean Conflict and is now in his late 80’s. I got him recently to join USAA (no auto or home insurance). I then joined as his son. From there my in-college daughter joined and uses USAA as her sole bank and loves them.

    Would this allow me to look for auto and home insurance with USAA or would I have to get my father to do this first?

    Thanks!

      1. Chris., credit cards are a bank product and thus require eligibility to get them. The only exception is credit cards provided by an infinity group (American Legion, DAV, etc.), in that case recommend individual calling USAA direct for infinity group credit cards.

  15. Hi – my daughter in law’s father is was in the Military and she and her family became USAA members, am I eligible as a mother in law to become a USAA member.

    Thanks, Nancy

  16. My significant other, or life-partner is a USAA member and we’d like to know if I might join through him. My father was former military but never joined USAA, so as his daughter I’ve already checked and I know that’s not an option.

  17. My son was in the military for 5 years. He is an USAA member. Can the membership extend backwards to me, his mom? Thanks!

  18. You have to input your parent’s social security number at sign up to make sure you are eligible for membership. I don’t know a lot of people running around with their parent’s SSN or many parents that want to give it to you so you can enter it into a webform online. Waste of time.

    1. Bucky, as an information security professional working for a bank, I can agree and understand the risks associated…but it’s the price you pay for convenience. You’re trying to prove that you are related to your parents through an online form… that’s pretty damn convenient. Another method that would be less convenient, but you could consider, would be to have your parent call USAA and get your USAA member number established themselves. Good luck, Bucky.

  19. Hello my husband is a retired veteran and I have obtain auto and home property through his service my question is can my 21yr old son who is not his child be able obtain auto insurance

    1. Doris, your best route is going to be making sure that YOU become a USAA member with a qualified insurance product. Then, your son will gain membership eligibility through you.

  20. My sister is a Level 2 member because her deceased ex-husband served and was a Level 2 member. Could her brothers and sisters qualify?

  21. So what if you get out. The only way to keep them is if you are honorably separated? Even if you’ve been with them for years and are a “level 2” member

    1. If you’re already a USAA member, I don’t think they’ll take your membership away for a dishonorable discharge. You should contact customer support to verify.

    1. Mike, I’m not sure if USAA offers credit cards to non-USAA members. If you’re not in the military, read the article, and you’ll find how you can take advantage of your spouse or parents’ USAA membership to join USAA.

  22. Chris ur extremely patient lol. I read the exact question 15 times and u answered it with details. The most impressive is u didn’t copy and paste. Ur definitely the best customer service rep I have ever read and u didn’t skip questions. I really appreciate ur patience and dedication

    1. Haha!! thanks Timothy. This comment had me laughing, what a great way to start the week. Yeah… a few readers are clearly not reading the article…thanks again for your kind (and hilarious) words!!

      1. I was thinking the same thing, Timothy. Back to back the same question over and over and Chris has not missed a beat.

        Thanks, Chris for being awesome!

        1. HAH, thanks Mari! Yours and Tim’s comments really make my day and give me a laugh. The answers are all there in this article (I sometimes have to go back and look at it myself to answer), but I guess people are just busier than I am? 🙂 Thanks again!

  23. Hi Chris,

    This thread was very helpful in understanding eligibility for USAA membership. Thanks for your due diligence in helping out the rest of us! I know I’ve appreciated it.

    I came on the thread looking for the details required when you’re a family member signing up for USAA after “inheriting” it from a parent who’s a USAA member. It took me 20 minutes and a phone call to USAA, so hopefully this will be helpful to others.

    Here’s what you’ll need to have when registering for USAA as a child of a parent who’s already a USAA member:

    1. the parent’s name
    2. their date of birth
    3. their mailing address on file with USAA
    4. their SSN or USAA membership id#

    Again, thanks for your work and for creating this article!

      1. Chris, Brent doesn’t qualify. The discharge on his military documents can only say “honorable.” Any other discharge (general, dishonorable or under honorable conditions) makes them not eligible.

  24. My dad was a former of USSA but fail on hard times and abandoned his accounts. He passed away a few years ago. Is it possible that I’m eligible to open an account under these circumstances?

    1. Hi Sean, it’s hard to say. If your father opened an auto or property insurance policy, then yes, you’d qualify. If he didn’t, then I would say you do not qualify. Best bet is for you to call USAA and ask. Their number is 1 (800) 531-8722.

  25. I have a question. If my fiancé is active military we are not married as of now , but we are engaged. Would I have access to open an account without him being here with me ?

    1. Hi Maricela, I’d say no. You probably will not be able to do that until you are married. Also, your spouse would need to have an auto or property insurance policy with USAA before you would become eligible to also become a USAA member. Hope this helps!

  26. I seem to recall, maybe 5 or 10 years ago, that for a brief period, USAA opened the possibility of having accounts with them to any member of the public, militarily connected or not. Is this true?

    1. USAA did for a few years (roughly 2010-2014) allow people without connections to established USAA insurance members to become “Level 1” members (under the above definition); that is, be eligible for banking products. USAA insurance products have always required the criteria of being either separated military (honorably discharged if not retired), spouses of, or adult children of USAA members who have held an insurance policy. However in 2014 they changed the rules for banking product eligibility to match that of insurance product eligibility.

  27. Hi my name is Jeffrey and I work for Quantico Marine Base in VA I am a civ that works for the Marines Base /DoD I will like to know if I am Eligible to be come a member I am looking for Home Owners ins.

  28. So here’s something I didn’t see mentioned in the article or the comments: Does someone have to be alive for spouse/children to be able to get into USAA? Both my grandfathers were in the military. My mom thinks my dad’s father had USAA at some point. He’s deceased now so would my dad (and eventually me) be able to get it or would my still-living grandmother be the only way if she’s currently a member?

    1. Hey Chuck, I’m not sure, but I’d say it’s worth a phone call to USAA to find out. I think if your dad’s father was a USAA member, they’d have his records and could confirm. I think your dad should call and ask and get his eligibility ASAP.

  29. I was in training to become a service representative for USAA in 1971. I left employment prior to completing the training for a much better paying job. At that time, the only servicemen eligible for USAA membership were officers, or retired officers. My Dad served in WWII as an enlisted man. Since he passed away in 1974, he was never able to apply for USAA membership. The membership rules allowing for enlisted membership were not in effect during his lifetime, therefore I was never afforded the opportunity to apply for membership. USAA is a great insurer, and customer service is top notch.

    1. Bob, wow, your dad served in WWII. I just find these men and women incredible, and I sincerely appreciate what your dad did for our country. It is a shame that enlisted men were not allowed the same benefits, but it’s true that USAA has absolutely excellent service, I agree!

    1. Ahh.. Merle, I’m terribly sorry for your loss. What was your spouse’s name?

      If your spouse was a USAA member who had held a USAA auto or property insurance policy, you would be eligible for USAA membership.

  30. Hi chris, I have usaa coverage on my house and other properties. I am eligible through my spouse, who is eligible because her dad was former military and a usaa member.

    I would now like to have my insurance separate from my spouse, however usaa says that I can not have a separate policy without including fgd my wife. The only way I can have a separate account with them is if I divorce my spouse. Usaa said that eligibility is for members only. Thanks

    1. Joe, do you have a USAA member number? You would have a separate online login, and you’d have a member number assigned to you. If not, then you are not a USAA member, and you need to get that part addressed first. If your spouse is a member, and she holds USAA property or auto insurance, you are eligible to apply for USAA membership.

      So, assuming your spouse is a USAA member, do this:
      1. Make sure she gets a USAA property or auto insurance policy
      2. Then apply for USAA membership
      3. Then get a USAA property insurance policy!

      Assuming your spouse is NOT a USAA member, do this:
      1. Have your spouse apply for USAA membership
      2. Have your spouse get a USAA property or auto insurance policy
      3. Then apply for USAA membership
      4. Then get a USAA property insurance policy!

      Keep in mind that your spouse cannot gain eligibility from her father unless he is a USAA member who also holds a USAA property or auto insurance policy.

      I hope this helps!

  31. My husband’s father passed away years ago. Not sure if he was a member. Is there a way to find out if he was. He passed 25 years ago.

    1. Hi Mrs. Jenkins,

      That’s going to be a tough one. I’m sure that USAA will not hand this information over easily. You will need to call USAA and be SUPER nice, and provide them with some proof of your relationship. In fact, your husband should probably call. Bank’s are extremely cautious about information security and information sharing. Good luck on this. Remember, be super duper nice and compliant.

  32. Hi I have an home/ auto/ credit card and 529 savings plan with USAA. My spouse is the veteran but we are getting divorced after 40 years. Will I have to give up my USAA membership?

    1. Hi Jacqueline, my understanding is that, once you are a USAA member, you’re a member for life unless you ask USAA to somehow end your membership. You’re good to go, but I’d recommend still calling USAA and asking to be sure.

  33. Hello good day I have my newphew as a military personnel I don’t know if he uses the USAA but I sign up using him in place of my relatives in military and finally and successfully I was able to sign up. How about that??

    1. I’ve heard a few stories like that so far, and I’m not surprised that there exceptions are made sometimes. I think it’s great if you can get in, however you can. 🙂

  34. w/o knowing anyone, may i join for rental car discount? Esp. my daughter is 24 that could help minimize the rental’s underage fee? Thx in advance

    1. Dan, I don’t think you can just join USAA without meeting the criteria described in the article…in this case, it sounds like your spouse or parent(s) are not USAA members with insurance products. So I’m assuming you cannot join… sorry!

  35. I have a sibling, retired from A.F. & a member. Although I wasn’t in the military (medically ineligible), I served 39 years as a civilian in a V.A. Hospital. Am I eligible to join? Remember, there’s more than one way to serve.

  36. My Dad was in the army and the reserves for a short time (during the Koran conflict). Do I qualify? If so, what do I need from my Dad to show his service years. thanks

    1. Hi Codie, I don’t think you can do that while you are just engaged. I think you have to be married; however, if you both live in the same household…I can see that being a possibility. You should give USAA a call and find out.

  37. I was a deputy commander for a combat engineer squadron and mission support group mentoring all ranks of military for deployments and setting up forward operating bases in combat zones. I wasn’t military but carried a military equivalent rank of full colonel on my civilian retirement. Would I be able to get membership in usaa?

    1. John, I’m not an expert on military status, but it doesn’t sound like USAA would accept your employment history without proof of having served in the U.S. military. i.e. some form of government issued identification or paperwork. I hope this is helpful.

  38. Hi, If I was born on a military base would I be eligible? My father passed away 30 years ago and he served in the military but I am not sure if he was a USSA member.

    1. Hi Sabrina, if your father was a USAA member with the correct type of insurance policy, you could be eligible. Otherwise, I would guess not. Best to call USAA to find out!

  39. Hello, so if someone who is already in USAA can make other people as members also?
    From what I know is that USAA is for people who have been in the military or family members but is there any possibility that other people have created an account from USAA.com without having these requirements.
    However, if only people with someone relationated or active military can use then USAA is very secure, hope that’s the way is.

    Can USAA proof all their members qualify for this?

  40. Great article, I only have incredible experiences when it comes to this company. To make a long story short, every time I have ever had a problem and needed to call USAA they resolved my problems quickly and painlessly, often providing solutions I didnt know were even possible. Above and beyond every time.
    I’ve been given free vehicle tows for mistakes that were mine, I have called owing them money and after explaining my unfortunate situation my bill was reduced to a storage state and rebated several months back so when I hung up they actually credited my account to a positive status, and I’ve called to ask about charges I werent familar with and was overnighted a replacement card and they found every charge by the unknown company dating 6 months back and disputed them and credited the ammount to my account. They’re f***ing awesome.

    *Honestly can’t believe how many different people constantly repeat the same questions that you some how politely answer over and over again.. Like everyone has the time to type these questions and check back for a reply but can’t bother reading the article or any of the 100 comments that have already regurgitated the exact same questions with answers… soo annoying -.-

  41. Hi,
    My Dad is retired WW2 veteran. He is no longer living and never signed up for USAA. Would I still be able to sign up?

    1. Hi Marilyn, you cannot gain eligibility from your uncle, and your parents didn’t gain the correct type of eligibility to allow you to become a USAA member. I’d say give USAA a call if you want to be certain.

  42. I was in the Air Force Reserves from 1979 to 1985 with an honorable discharge. Does anybody know if you qualify to become a member with USAA if were in the reserves?

  43. Can eligibility be passed to an adult married child from her father. And if so, could her husband join as well?

  44. My husband was in the Navy and Air Force. He is deceased (3-16-2015….I am his widow. I am a retired Federal Employee (USPS).
    Do I qualify for Auto and homeowners insurance?

  45. What about siblings? I have two brothers who served in the army. My dad also served in the Navy during WWII but he has passed on without joining USAA. If my brothers joined, could I join?

  46. Hi. I’m a USAA member(25 years) with Checking, Savings, Auto & Homeowner’s Insurance. My 19 year old son just joined online, but when he enrolled using me for his eligibility he was given a USAA# and it said “not eligible for credit card, investments, life insurance, shopping & discounts, and auto & homeowner’s insurance.” Why the heck not? Any ideas before we call them? [Thanks and I appreciate all the info you’ve provided!]

    1. Landon I would call USAA and ask. Was he under your member number before? I know that sometimes that can be part of the problem. I actually had that problem problem myself. I’ve been insured thru USAA since I was 16 on my parents policy. When I tried to open my own online I got a message kind of like that.

  47. My late spouse (dead 10 years) was enlisted and retired in 1983. USAA had not yet opened up their coverage’s to enlisted. So we went on with what insurance we had over the years. Since his death, I’ve called 3 times to see, if as his legal widow, I could join USAA for Home and Auto insurance. I am always asked when I call “Did he ever have coverage — i said no, because at his time in service, he was NOT eligible. Then once I was asked why didn’t you go with it when it opened up to enlisted. Well, there was no official notifications sent out to retirees that we ever saw. Again, a veteran’s widow falls between the cracks. Sad.

    1. Pat, I’m sure you have but I figured I would ask anyway…have you asked to speak to a supervisor/manager? I’m sure you get tired of hearing the same old song and dance, but they really do have great customer service. Maybe just getting an empathetic enrollment supervisor on the phone who Is willing to listen to you and hopefully recognize that our veteran’s wives and families serve right along with them would get your point across and keep at least one veteran’s widow from falling thru the cracks. I hope maybe this helps. Thank you for for your husband’s service!

  48. My husband was a Vietnam veteran and died in 1994. At that time enlisted people were not eligible for USAA. I found out that I am not eligible. This certainly seems unfair. If he was alive, I would have him and USAA. How does equate to fairness? Any spouse also suffered ( with worry) every day their spouse was serving.
    How can I help change this rule?

  49. My father was a WWII Veteran. But he is deceased. How can I find out if he was a member and had auto insurance with USAA?

  50. I am interested in auto and property insurance with USAA. I presently worked at the United States Naval Academy and have sailed in the United States Merchant Marine. How do I receive rates and info?

  51. Our daughter is in the Army and is a combat veteran. We currently have five vehicles ( including hers ) that we insure through State Farm. We r interested in possible transferring our vehicles for auto insurance and our home for home owners insurance , if possible. Do we qualify based on our daughters active military status. She is also a senior ROTC student.

  52. My father was in the army in WW2 but never enrolled in any USAA account. He died in 2005. My mother is still living. Do you know if she would be eligible?
    Thanks

  53. My ex husband and I had USAA auto insurance while he was active duty for 12 years. He was honourably discharged. He passed away last October. Am I still eligible?
    Thanks

  54. What if my dad was a veteran, and he is currently on our policy as a driver, due to not owning a car, but drives our cars, and lives with us. Would we be eligible to open a automobile policy with my dad included as a driver??

    1. Yes – But because your father is the veteran…

      1)The policy will actually be in your father’s name with the rest of you listed as insured drivers on the policy..

      2)You need to make it VERY, VERY clear to USAA that your father lives with you

  55. My son was a 6 yr Naval Officer. My brother served in the Navy for four years. I was an employee of DOD (teacher) for two years at at USAF Base in England. Two brother’s in law were in the Army. I am the current director of the North Dakota State American Legion Band. Is there a way I could every qualify?

  56. My husband served in the military and was honorably discharged. He has recently passed away. Can I as a surviving spouse apply for membership in USAA

  57. I used to have USAA auto insurance under my military father. USAA pulled out of SC, the state of which I live and I had to go get a insurance with a different company.
    Since I was already a member, can I be a member again?

  58. My spouse served in the Military and we are currently USAA members. We are now going through a divorce. Would I still be eligible for USAA after divorce? My father is also a retired Military but unsure if he is a USAA member.

  59. Do I qualify for USAA membership? I attended a Military School called New York Military Academy for 1.5 years and graduated.

  60. Hello,
    So I was told that I’m not eligible to have my own auto insurance policy with USAA. My wife and I were on the same policy for about a year, and we decided to cancel on the policy on her car, and to add a new policy on my new car with my name being the primary. They told me that it would have to be her name since she sponsored me for the auto. Should I speak to someone else about the issue, because initially I was told that I could have my own policy in my name but then the last person I spoke with told me otherwise. Let me know what you think.

    Thanks!

  61. My brother-in-law was a private in the army and died in Iraq and my other brother-in-law is retired 82nd Airborne. The family member that died was my wife’s brother and the other is my sister’s husband. Do I qualify for any level of membership? Thank you.

  62. I called again to ask if I could get usaa insurance and again I was told no ! My dad was a veteran ( but did not belong to USAA) I have two sons that are officers in the Army and Marines and are active duty . They are both deployed on hardship tours at this time and this is the 5 th hardship tour for one and 2 nd hardship tour for the other one.
    My frustration is that their step children can receive USAA along with their spouses and I’m sure their step children’s kids will eventually be eligible and that is wrong!!!
    I think parents should be eligible before them

  63. I don’t suppose 4 years in high school jrotc counts, lol. Hey it was worth a try. This bank sounds so good I just might have to join the coast guard!

  64. My ex husband is dead, and I don’t know if he had a USAA bank account, or even if he had the insurance. When I entered his ss # they gave me a member number. Is it possible that they could come back later and tell me he was not a member and take mine away? Since I don’t know for sure whether or not he had it, I would like to know if the application process was definitive enough for me to trust it with my insurance and/or banking needs???

  65. It says active or retired military member, to be a member. My question is i had an Aunt that was a Member, of USAA, she retired as a Major in the Air Force, she had no children, but i am a Niece of hers, (her sister was my mother) can i become a Member?

  66. My better half have been living in the my home 5 days a week minimum for around 10-11 years. She maintains her own house. I’ve been divorced 2X. I don’t play well with others since Vietnam. I am a member of yours. Can she apply through me. Thank you Angelo A C.

  67. If my husband, and I had ever heard of USAA before his death, he would have joined and we would have purchased automobile and homeowners insurance through USAA. It saddens me to know that as a widow of an Air Force veteran, I am not eligible to have USAA insurance. As a widow, I need it more now than I would have before my husband’s death. Hopefully, in the near future, USAA will upgrade the qualifications for membership to include widows of veterans.
    Thank you for reading my concern,
    Leware T.

  68. I tried to join USAA a year or so ago, I am an honorably discharged, 4 year Navy veteran…however, they refused my application….WHY?

  69. I was drafted and took physical to join USAF. I did not serve because war ended. My son is Lt Col USAF currently.

    I’m looking to change 2 auto ins policies.

    Am I eligible to get USAA coverage?

  70. I was discharged for a medical issue during basic, mine was catergorized as ELS, so i dont qualify…and i have long family history of service, but none of them are members…they told me i didnt qualify to join on my own.

  71. Chris- my wife ( her father was a naval officer) has had an insurance policy for us and our (now grown) children for many years. She and I are divorcing. Will I no longer be able to continue my policy?

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