Submitting an ID card application in the United States is a process that is generally completed by individuals who are unable to operate a motor vehicle, and by those that choose not to drive. An identification card are important documents for non-drivers as they serve as an official form of identification in the absence of a driving license. A DMV ID card is a requirement in many situations, as individuals must often prove their identity when completing a certain procedure, such as applying for a job, opening a bank account or purchasing goods. To get ID card credentials in the U.S., applicants must typically submit an official request to their state motor vehicle department. Unlike the process of applying for driving licenses, ID card non-drivers will not be required to pass any tests, as state DMVs only verify the applicant's identity, state residency and legal U.S. presence. Note that, you may be unable to own both a DMV ID card and a valid driving license at the same time, as state laws across the country allow only for one official identification document. Learn how to get an ID card and review several types of state ID cards by reading the following sections:
- Requirements for an ID card.
- How to apply for ID cards.
- Special types of ID cards.
Requirements for an ID Card
Prior to applying for a new ID card, applicants must ensure they meet the DMV ID requirements set forth by their specific motor vehicle department. While the requirements for an identification card are simpler than those for a license to drive, applicants will still be required to submit specific documents for ID cards and pay the ID card cost. Also, since certain state DMVs generally issue different types of identity cards, applicants may be required to meet additional criteria as well. For example, to apply for a senior state ID in California, which is valid for a longer period of time, residents must meet the minimum age requirement of 62 years of age. Note that, when submitting the supporting documents for identification cards, applicants must ensure they present sufficient proof of their:
- Identity, legal name and date of birth.
- State residency.
- Legal U.S. presence.
- Social Security Number.
State motor vehicle departments will generally process your ID card application only if you submit original paperwork or copies certified by the issuing agency. Also, DMV ID card applicants will often be able to submit a single document for more than one purpose. For example, due to the importance of your U.S. passport, you may be able to use it as proof of your citizenship, name and date of birth.
Note that the document requirements for identification cards may vary from state to state due to the different practices of individual departments. Primary and secondary documents for identity cards are differentiated by a large number of states. For example, the Texas Department of Public Safety requires state ID card applicants to submit one document from the primary list or two documents from the secondary list as proof of identification. The list of primary documents includes, but is not limited to, a U.S. passport, driving license and a certificate of citizenship.
Note: DMV identification card applicants who have recently changed their name will also be required to submit the necessary documentation that proves the change.
How to Apply for ID Cards
State residents wondering how to get an ID card can generally complete the process by submitting their application in person through a local DMV location. While the procedure to apply for identity cards may be unavailable via other methods, certain state DMVs still allow applicants to schedule their office visit via the internet. To successfully finalize the DMV ID card application process, you will generally be required to complete the following steps:
- Fill out and submit the corresponding application form.
- Present the necessary evidentiary documents.
- Have your photograph taken.
- Pay the DMV ID card price.
After processing the ID card form and reviewing the submitted documentation, the corresponding state DMV will issue the official credential and mail it to the applicant's address as soon as possible. Note that certain states, such as Arizona, do not charge a DMV ID fee to senior applicants.
Special Types of ID Cards
In addition to the standard identification cards issued to adult non-drivers, a certain number of state motor vehicle departments also issue other types of identity cards to other groups of applicants. The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, for example, issues special DMV ID cards for children. The Ohio ID R KIDS cards were implemented for purposes of providing increased protection to children within the state. In the unfortunate event of a kidnapping, for instance, law enforcement agencies will be able to utilize the child's photograph from his or her state ID card and distribute it on a state and national level. When applying for a state issued ID card on behalf of a child, however, parents may also be required to submit their identification documents as well.
A large number of state DMVs often issue ID cards to senior citizens as well. This type of DMV identification cards are generally issued at no cost with a longer validity than standard state IDs.