The procedure to renew ID card credentials in the United States must be completed on a regular basis, since state motor vehicle departments typically issue identification cards with a limited validity. The DMV ID renewal process can often be finalized via several methods, unlike the process of applying for a first ID card, which can only be completed in person. For instance, to avoid renewing ID card documents through a local DMV office, applicants can often complete the procedure through the internet services portal of the state. Note that, the validity period of an ID card generally varies based on the type of ID that you hold and the practices of your state DMV.

Similarly, applying for a DMV ID replacement is a step that should not be avoided in cases where individuals have lost their credential or had it stolen or destroyed. Having a valid copy of ID card documentation is important, especially for individuals who do not possess a driving license, as this document serves as an official form of identification and may be required in a multitude of situations, such as when applying for a job position or other routine procedures. Therefore, if you have a lost ID card, you will need to send a request for replacement of your credential to your state motor vehicle department as soon as possible.

For more information about renewing or replacing an ID card in your state, please visit your state’s page:

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Methods for ID Card Renewal

Generally, the DMV identification card renewal must be completed every four to six years. Regardless of the method chosen to renew ID cards, applicants will be required to meet certain requirements and complete several steps. Learn how to renew ID card credentials by reading the following sections.

How to Renew ID Cards Online

The most convenient method to renew ID cards in the United States is to initiate the procedure via the internet services website of the corresponding state DMV. However, the option to renew ID card online is not currently available in all states. Also, to complete the state ID renewal via the internet and avoid a trip to the office, applicants will be required to meet several eligibility requirements.

Even if the specific requirements to complete the identification card renewal online may vary from state to state, non-drivers will generally be unable to complete the procedure if they:

  • Are not U.S. citizens and state residents older than 18 years of age.
  • Do not have a valid credit card or a bank account for payment purposes.
  • Must update their photograph on file with the DMV.
  • Do not hold an ID card that has been expired for a long period of time and their identification card is nearing its expiration date.
  • Have not provided their Social Security Number to the DMV.
  • Have recently changed their name and/or address and omitted to complete the name change and/or address change procedure with the DMV.

Note: Not all requirements to renew identification card credentials outlined above may apply in your case, as they vary depending on the practices of your state DMV and your specific circumstances.

To finalize ID card renewal via the internet, applicants will first be required to enter several types of personal information, such as full name, date of birth, address and Social Security Number. When the system verifies your identity, you will be prompted to provide the fee payment in order to conclude the transaction. Fees vary by state.

How to Renew ID Cards in Person or by Mail

Drivers who are unable to complete DMV ID renewal via the internet can typically utilize different methods to finalize the procedure. For example, you can renew ID cards in person through a nearby DMV location regardless of your state of residence. To finalize ID card renewal via this method, you will generally be required to complete the following steps:

  • Visit a DMV office during its regular working hours.
  • Fill out the corresponding state ID renewal application.
  • Submit the necessary identification documents.
  • Have your photo taken (if required).
  • Pay any applicable fees.

In addition to the in-person method of renewing ID cards, certain states also offer the option to renew identification cards by mail. For example, the Colorado Department of Motor vehicles processes ID card renewal applications submitted by mail to the address displayed on the application form, along with payment for the applicable fees.

However, in order to renew ID cards by mail, applicants will typically be required to meet requirements similar to the online renewal method. Therefore, you will be unable to complete the DMV identification card renewal if you are required to update your photo or finalize the DMV address change procedure.

Documents Necessary to Renew ID Cards

When renewing ID cards in the United States, applicants may also be required to submit a set of evidentiary documents for purposes of proving their identity and eligibility to complete the procedure. Prior to processing your ID card renewal application, the corresponding state DMV will use this documentation to verify your identity, date of birth, state residency and legal presence in the U.S.

Certain methods to renew ID cards do not require the submission of evidence paperwork. For instance, motorists renewing ID cards via the internet are able to complete the process without submitting any documents, as they have already completed this step during a previous DMV transaction. However, you may be required to complete the identification card renewal in person and submit several documents if the following special circumstances apply to your case:

  • You have completed the address and/or name change procedure.
  • You must update your photo on file.
  • You must reestablish your state residency, legal U.S. presence, date of birth, identity and/or Social Security Number.
  • You are renewing an expired ID card.

Methods for ID Card Replacement

State citizens requesting a replacement ID card are usually offered several methods to complete the process. Though the ways to apply for a copy of ID card credentials may vary from state to state, they generally include: in person at a local DMV, by mail or via the internet.

When completing their application for lost ID card documents, individuals will also need to submit specific items, which may differ depending on their state of residence. Applicants wondering how to replace ID card credentials can obtain more information by reading the following sections.

How to Replace an ID Card in Person

An efficient way to replace ID card credentials is to personally visit a nearby DMV location and follow the guidelines set by the state motor vehicle agency. Applicants who decide to obtain a copy of their ID card in person may be required to present specific documentation to prove their identity and complete additional steps, such as give a thumb print, have their photograph taken, arrange payment for the applicable fees and more.

Since it is important to have the proper documents on hand when choosing to replace your lost ID card personally, you are strongly recommended to conduct thorough research or contact a DMV office prior to your visit, thus avoiding any inconvenience when in the office.

Certain states, such as California, allow individuals applying for a DMV ID replacement to schedule an appointment beforehand for faster service.

How to Replace an ID Card Online or by Mail

State citizens who are not able to replace their ID card in person, may still complete the procedure by mail or using an online service tool, provided their state DMV offers these options.

Obtaining a copy of an ID card via mail generally requires applicants to submit a completed application form along with some proof of identity/citizenship and payment for the replacement fee. In order to utilize an online provider to replace a lost state ID card, individuals must first ensure they are eligible for the procedure, have access to the internet and a valid debit/credit card to finalize the transaction.

Applicants requesting a DMV ID replacement online must also note that certain state DMVs may charge a convenience fee in addition to the regular price for applying via the internet.

Requirements to Replace ID Cards

Lost ID cards are generally replaced once applicants submit the required paperwork and complete the criteria set by their state motor vehicle agency.

Though the necessary documentation to obtain a replacement ID card may once again vary depending on the state, non-drivers will be generally required to complete and submit an application form, provide an acceptable proof of identity/citizenship/residency and pay the applicable fees. Other DMV ID replacement requirements, such as giving a thumb print, as well as additional documents may apply depending on your circumstances.

Note: Certain states require citizens with an expired DMV ID card to apply for a new one or renew their credential instead of initiating a replacement procedure.

Fees to Replace an ID Card

An unavoidable part of the process of replacing lost ID cards is arranging payment for the applicable fees. The procedure of setting replacement ID card fees is usually left to the discretion of each state motor vehicle department. Citizens of North Carolina submitting an application for a lost ID card, for instance, will be required to pay a duplicate fee currently set at $13.

Applicants 70 years of age or older, however, can obtain a replacement free of charge. The New York Department of Motor Vehicles offers individuals the option to obtain a DMV ID replacement with a reduced price or free of charge provided they apply in person or via mail, and enclose a document proving their eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Also, keep in mind that certain state DMVs may charge an extra service fee to non-drivers applying via the internet.

Last updated on Wednesday, March 4 2020.