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How to Apply for a California Identification Card

Identification Cards

If you don't have a California drivers license or another form of photo ID, a CA DMV ID card can be the perfect alternative. ID cards can be used for tasks such as:

  • Voting
  • Travel
  • Opening bank accounts

Providing proof of your name, birth date, and a photo ID, identification cards are very helpful whenever you need to demonstrate proof of your identity.

More Important Information on ID Cards

California ID Card Fees

Every ID card has its price. Fortunately, regardless of the process you are going through to obtain one, you will be paying the same fee:

  • Original CA identification card: $28
  • ID card replacement: $28
  • ID card renewal: $28
  • Senior citizen ID card: FREE

Each identification card is valid for a period of six years. However, you can only pay these fees with cash, check, money order, or ATM/debit cards. Credit cards cannot be used to make payments at DMV locations in California.

How to Apply for a CA ID Card

If you want to apply for ID card credentials in the state of California, you are free to do so at any age. The CA Department of Motor Vehicles issues two kinds of ID cards:

  • The standard ID card
  • The senior citizen ID card (for California drivers/residents over 62)

However, in order to obtain either, you are required to go to a California DMV office in person. Once here, you will be asked to:

  • Submit a completed Driver License or Identification Card Application, which you will find at the DMV.
  • Provide your Social Security Number.
  • One proof of birthdate/legal presence in the United States (only originals or certified copies):
    • California drivers license
    • U.S. passport
    • Birth certificate
    • Green Card a.k.a. I-551 Form (non-U.S. citizens)
    • I-551 stamp on passport (non-U.S. citizens)
  • One proof of name change, if necessary (only originals or certified copies):
    • Marriage certificate
    • Divorce decree
    • Court order
  • Provide your thumbprint.
  • Take a picture for the ID card.

Note: The California DMV does not offer veteran designations on identification cards.

Voter Registration

As long as you meet all of the following criteria, you will be able to register to vote in the state of California if:

  • You are a U.S. citizen.
  • You are a resident of California.
  • You are at least 18 years old on the day of election.
  • You are not in prison or on parole.
  • You are not found mentally incompetent by a court.

However, if you need help filling out your voter registration form, or simply don't want to go through any trouble in registering to vote, offers you a comprehensive voter registration service that can help you do just that.

How to Renew an ID Card in California

All standard identification cards must be renewed every six years in the state of California. However, senior citizen IDs must be renewed every 10 years. There are three ways that you can renew ID card documents in California, including:

  • Online.
  • In person.
  • By mail.


In order to renew your identification card online, you will have to have:

  • A renewal notice from the CA DMV.
  • A Social Security Number on the DMV records.
  • A credit card or bank account for payment of fees.
  • The same address and name that the DMV has on file.

If you meet the qualifications, you can visit the CA DMV website and renew your credentials.

In Person

In order to renew your ID card in person, you will have to do the following while at the local DMV office:

  • Submit a driver license or identification card application
  • Get your picture taken
  • Provide your thumbprint
  • Pay the $28 issue fee:
    • The CA DMV accepts cash, checks, money orders, and debit/ATM cards

You can expect your new ID card to arrive by mail within 60 days.

By Mail

To see if you qualify to mail in your identification card application, you must check these eligibility requirements:

  • Your identification card has not been expired for longer than one year
  • You are not making any correction to your ID card, including name or address changes
  • The last time you renewed your identification card was in person

If you meet the requirements provided by the CA DMV, you will be able to fill out and send in a California Identification Card Renewal By Mail Eligibility Information form, along with a check or money order for the $28 fee, payable to DMV, if you are younger than 62.

How to Replace a CA ID Card

The state of California limits the ways that you can replace ID card credentials. In fact, the only way that you can do so is to go in person to one of the various DMV locations in your area and complete the replacement process in person. You will need to bring:

  • A filled-out driver license or identification card application
  • $28 payment for application fee:
    • The CA DMV accepts cash, checks, money orders, and debit/ATM cards

Proof of date of birth or legal presence is not necessary for ID card replacement. However, you will have to get your picture and thumbprint taken. Furthermore, you are required to replace ID card documents if your current identification card was:

  • Stolen.
  • Lost.
  • Damaged to the point where pertinent information is illegible.

If you are out-of-state and require a replacement, you will have to wait until you return to the state of California to apply.

Report a Stolen ID Card

If your identification card has been taken from you, it is recommended that you contact local authorities. By filing a report with the California police, you will be protecting your identity and making sure that the police will be able to contact you if your card ever comes up. If you contact the CA DMV directly, you can find out if they will waive the replacement fee because you filed a police report.


If you want to be able to travel outside of the United States, you must apply for passport documents. However, that is not the only way this booklet can be used. Say, for instance, that you do not have enough proofs of identity to renew ID card credentials. If that is the case, you can get a passport that features your:

  • Name.
  • Date of birth.
  • Nationality.
  • Social Security Number.

With a passport, completing an ID card application becomes that much easier, and has its own trusted digital tool to help you fill out the necessary forms.

Out-of-State Drivers

For those California drivers that are currently out-of-state, there is no need to worry about the validity of your CA ID card. Identification cards remain active as long as you are a resident of the state of California. However, if you establish residency in another state, the identification card will no longer be valid.
The California Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) issues non-driver identification cards to State residents who don't have a valid ID card, driver license or instruction permits from the State or any other jurisdiction. The ID card can be used to prove your identity, age, and residence in a variety of situations. The identification card is valid for six years and if you are older than 62, it is valid for ten years. The ID card expires on your birthday six years after it was issued.

Related Links

Reviews of How to Apply for a California Identification Card

I came here by ESTA visa from Korea for 3 months.

Can I get an ID card?

This blog is unattended or ignored as best as I can tell. Only one question has received a response in the past 3 years.

My two kids are 10 and 11. What do I need to get them both identification cards?

Can I get my i.d.card (http://i.d.card) by going to the post office .It's 5 min. from my home and I'm disabled so I'm not able to drive over 30 miles to the closest DMV.If I'm not able to go to the post office I'm afraid I won't be able to get a current ID card.

I want to make California ID Card, want to get Reduce-fee ID card. I live at San Pablo. Where the Public Assistance office I can go and apply DL 937 to reduce fee ID card ?

i am new to california and am homeless. i do not know anyone so how can i apply for an id card without an address?

go down to the welfare bldg on 12th / Imperial 5th floor and they let you get mail sent there, or else Gods extended hand will do it for you.

If someone's license was suspended and taken away (DUI), can he/she apply for an ID card? If so, after the suspension and license is reinstated, would he/she get rid of the ID card?

I applied in October 6th 2014 for an american ID (I'm an F1 visa student) and I didn't receive it. What can I do? I tried to call at DMV many times to check status but it''s impossible to speak with them.

Question: My mother-in-law is 93 and needs a California ID. We have the forms and an appointment, BUT her old drivers license is expired. Is that good enough for proof of her id and residence?

My mother is 87, in a nursing facility and has a drivers license expiring on 3/5/15. She needs a California ID card, but is not physically able to go to a DMV office in person. Is there a way to get this done without having to appear in person?

My mom will be turning 90 in March and her driver's license will expire then. She no longer drives and would like to have a California ID card to replace her driver's license. Can this be done automatically or will she need to come in for an appointment?

I need to get fingerprinted for my ROP class I'm 17 and I need to get my California ID so do I need to bring a parent with me ?

This site inspires me everyday, you should update it more often

f1 student applying for ID

I have waited for my ID for over 3 months, what do i do? any suggestions?

i have not yet received my california identification card.

I have waited for my ID for a month and a have What do I do

sayes 60 days thats 2 months mines almost been 60 days usually 3 weeks though slower on holidays

BTW, my name is Zong Miao

please give me a call, 886 4492

or email, zach7ece [at] gmail [dot] com

plz give me a ID as soon as possible, thanks a lot!!

can anyone help me? thanks

I lost My California Id a few years ago,but don't know how to renew or get another one. I'm a disabled 30 yrs.old.I (http://yrs.old.I) have T.B.I. and don't make a lot of money to afford things.

Thank you!

neil good day center downtown sd 299 17th st they have people who will come downtown and pay for ure ids and renewals calll for x and days

seems nobody here,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,


fui desde nayo a tramitar mi id y mi licencia y hasta el momento no me ha llegado la id que puedo hacer se me estravio el recibo y mi numero de seguro social es 610-18-4739 ,serian muy amables de poderme dar una respuesta,gracias

“I’ve truly enjoyed working with Erik Grey and [the Universe LLC team]… you’ve been fantastic, thanks for all your wonderful support and ideas!!” Contact numbers: Phone numbers: (347) 759-6255 Address: 575 Madison Ave #10 New York

How can i qualify for reduced cost CA ID?

You can't《sorry》

yes u can make under a certain amount of money or recieve government benifuts wii get u reduced rates

CA id card assistance programs to reduce the cost


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This piece first ran in Printers Row Journal, delivered to Printers Row members with the Sunday Chicago Tribune and by digital edition via email. Click to learn about joining Printers Row.Percolating just beneath its shimmering surfaces are racism, anti-Semitism, class resentment, drug abuse, adultery and other causes and symptoms of adult unhappiness some of which Tommy will encounter again as an adult in a sequel, "To the Sargasso Sea" (1987).After nearly two decades of being out of print, "Testing the Current" was published in a new edition Jan. 8 by New York Review Books. The 79-year-old author, a former editor at William Morrow Co. who won a Pulitzer Prize for criticism as the editor of the Washington Post's Book World, is working on a new novel. Printers Row Journal caught up with McPherson for a phone interview from his home in Washington. Here's an edited transcript.Q: It must be gratifying to have the book back before the public after so many years.A: Yes, it's extremely gratifying. I could say I'm thrilled, but that doesn't seem like quite the right word. Amazed is more like it.Q: In an afterword for the new edition, D.T. Max floats the idea that your novel came along just when readers had grown tired of postmodern fiction. Later, he says, your book was seen as sort of old-fashioned, and now we're ready for it again. Do you buy the idea that for everything there is a season, including books?A: I think it's probably true. Fortunately, books never die, exactly. If there's still a copy around, somebody may read it. I remember going to the public library when I was young, pulling out these totally obscure books and as often as not, finding something interesting.Q: In what ways did your background as a critic who had also worked in the publishing world prepare you or maybe inhibit you for the writing of "Testing the Current"?A: Well, of course being a critic did help prepare me, because I was always reading and thinking about novels, but I didn't think of it as preparing me to write. I thought of it as preparing me to read. If anything, my experience in publishing did not encourage me to write. I saw what happens to most books, which is that they're published and then they disappear.When I was editing Book World in the '70s, there were 40,000 trade books or more published every year, and you can't possibly deal with all of those books. When I was in publishing, I would spend three quarters of my time pulling the book out of the writer, and then the last quarter preparing them for an anticlimax. I'd say, "On publication, you'll probably get a call from me, and nothing else is liable to happen. Bells aren't going to be ringing." I always thought it was better not to have high expectations. Best to think, "Well, I got an advance" and anything beyond that is gravy.Q: Was it nerve-racking to send a book of your own out into the world to be judged by others?A: Yes, that inhibited me to some extent. But, you know, words have been my life. I've cared about words since I was a kid. I took a couple of creative writing courses in college; a few years back I found a story I'd written in college, and I could tell that I'd written it, even though it was really juvenile. Anyway, I stopped writing because I didn't think I had anything to say, really. And then when I was a critic at Book World, I was fortunate because I was the editor of the thing, and I could choose the books I wanted to review. Generally speaking, I didn't review books that didn't interest me. There was no reason I should pan a first novel that nobody was going to hear about, for example.Of course, it's easier to write a harsh review, where you can be funny, than it is to write a favorable review, where you have to say what's good about a book and why it's good. So I didn't write a lot of negative reviews. I did write some, but they were by famous authors who couldn't possibly care. After I started writing "Testing the Current," I didn't want to edit Book World anymore, because I knew how hard it was to write a book, and I didn't want to criticize other books. And I didn't want other stories in my head, somehow.Q: "Testing the Current" got great reviews.A: Yes, they were amazing. I did get one negative review, and it was by Robertson Davies, in the Washington Post. Actually I don't think he'd read the book. He said it was a novel about a kid who loves golf, and that's not quite what it's about.Q: What was the genesis of the book?A: The idea came to me one morning in Washington between Christmas and New Year's in 1977. I remember I was standing on the corner of 18th and Q and New Hampshire Avenue, where the three streets come together. I was waiting to cross the street, and I just saw this woman teeing off on the golf course. I saw the river in the distance, I saw the leaves on the trees, I saw the dew on the grass, every detail. And then it was as if the camera was panning back is that what cameras do? and I realized that this was being seen by a kid sitting on the steps of the country club. It sounds weird, but there was something sacred about that moment, something luminous, so much so that I was kind of awed by it. It hit me with such intensity and clarity that I thought, "I have to write this down."

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My girlfriend's CA ID has expired, she has not been granted a greencard as of yet, but is in process through lawyers. Meanwhile her ID is expired, can she get her "ID" card renewed or get a new one?

My friend is Saipan USA she only has her passport can she apply for a california ID

how could i get id card if iam in a proses of greencard appl and i need my id to get my figer prints and dmv would not give me id cause i dont have an id iam stuck in a circle please help i need to get my id than license

I need to renew my Drivers License but I have an outstanding ticket for not wearing a seat belt. I lost my job and was unable to pay ticket. Now the ticket has mushroomed to over $700.00. I have a company that wants to hire me but I need a Drivers License, but I am unable to pay the fine until I get a paycheck. What options do I have???

try a program call ed homeless court they got me out of 67 trolley tickets ii had got in a 9 year unemployment time span they also take care of old misdemeanors that prevent u from getting job etc

I moved from california to New York ,and I lost california driver lisense and it also expired. So I need get ny driver lisense but they said I need to prove that you had lisense or not . how can i do ?

How do you acquire a duplicate ID card if the applicant is unable to go to the local DMV office?

i have no time to go to dmv officebecause my day off from mywork is one day only and itsunday no office lastsept. 2009 the dmv office send me renewal by mail my senior citizen identification card no. isd4541199.

I am visiting California and was given 6 months to see the country. I would like to drive here in California. Is it possible to apply for a California Driver's License?

I am visiting California and was given 6 months to see the country. I would like to drive here in California. Is it possible to apply for a California Driver´s License?

how many year would the ID card valid for if i use my h1 visa to apply for? my h1 visa only valid till 2013.