Defense Visual Information Activity Number (DVIAN)

The DVIAN is a five-character unique identifier in alpha (A) numeric (N) format, rendered as (ANNNN), assigned to approved VI activities (such as unit Public Affairs offices, PA detachments and support elements, Combat Camera units, ships and other major commands) to validate their authority to operate and to enable unit-level attribution of VI records. Like the VISION ID, the DVIAN resides in Field 3 of the VIRIN. The alpha designators for the DoD components are:

A - The Department of the Army.
D - The Office of the Secretary of Defense.
F - The Department of the Air Force.
G - The Coast Guard.
J - The CJCS.
K - The Defense Information Systems Agency.
M - The United States Marine Corps.
N - The United States Navy.
O - Other.
S - The Defense Logistics Agency.
W - The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.
Z - National Guard (Army and Air).


The DVIAN is authorized and assigned by the managing DoD service component in accordance with DoD Instruction 5040.02, Enclosure 8. The DVIAN can be used in place of a VISION ID to attribute VI products to the creating or releasing unit under certain circumstances. Such circumstances include:

  • Unit- or organizational-level productions in which multiple personnel produced it.
  • VI contributed by personnel who do not regularly create VI in the course of their duties (courtesy photos or videos). *However, if a contributor creates and provides VI more than once, he or she should obtain a VISION ID.

The DVIAN should not be used to obfuscate the identification of an individual who solely produced a VI asset, or for b-roll, or for VI shot by a drone operator.

DVIAN Registration

If you need to register your unit or organization’s VI activity for a DVIAN, please contact DMA Customer Service for assistance in reaching your managing Component Visual Information office for Service-unique guidelines and procedures.

  • Once your organization’s DVIAN is assigned, it will remain assigned to the organization permanently.
  • No organization should have more than one DVIAN.
  • Ensure your organization’s DVIAN is shared with incoming personnel.

Find a DVIAN

A centralized on-line DVIAN registration system and database is under development in coordination with the service component VI offices. The system will be deployed in DVIDS once it is operational.

If you need to research a unit or organization’s DVIAN, please contact DMA Customer Service.

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