A Texas state ID is a helpful document for state residents who cannot drive, or do not wish to get a drivers license. A TX ID card provides all the same verified identity information as a driver’s license, without having to take any exams or tests. A valid photo identification card comes in handy when trying to access vital records, travel by air or apply for government benefits.

Non-driver ID cards are provided by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to lawfully-present state residents. Temporary visitors and foreign students may also apply for credentials by meeting additional requirements. Continue reading to learn more about obtaining an ID card in Texas, including where to go, the documents you need and how much to budget for your ID credential fees.

Texas DMV ID Requirements

Texas DMV state ID requirements include providing proof of Texas residency for at least 30 days. Certain individuals may be able to waive this residency requirement, including:

  • Applicants surrendering a valid license from another state or applying for a commercial ID.
  • Petitioners subject to the Address Confidentiality Program administered by the Attorney General of Texas.
  • Judges and spouses of judges.
  • Active duty military personnel, their spouses and dependents.
  • Individuals currently incarcerated in a TX Department of Criminal Justice facility.

There are no age-related ID card requirements in Texas, and many parents purchase photo IDs for their children. Having a child ID card can be helpful when traveling, applying for school and in emergency situations.

If you hold a valid driver’s license issued in Texas or another state, you are not eligible to apply for an ID card, unless you surrender your license, first. It is illegal to possess a driver’s license and state ID at the same time in Texas.

What do you need to get an ID in Texas?

“What do you need to get a state ID in Texas?” is an important question to answer before you attempt to get an ID. The documents needed for state ID application fall into these categories:

  • Citizenship status:
    • Document examples include: a U.S. birth certificate, U.S. passport or a Certificate of Citizenship or Naturalization
  • Evidence of lawful presence (noncitizens only):
    • Accepted documents include: a Permanent Resident card, a foreign passport with an I-94 stamp or Form I-327, Permit to Reenter the United States
  • Identity:
    • Provide one document from DPS’s primary ID document list, such as: a TX driver license, U.S. passport, Certificate of Citizenship or Naturalization; or, you may provide two documents from the state’s secondary and supporting document lists, such as a birth certificate or tax forms
  • Social Security Number (SSN):
    • Show your Social Security card or a W-2, 1099 or another tax form. Contact the Social Security Administration if you need to apply for an SSN
  • Texas residency:
    • Can be proven with two documents printed with the applicant’s name and address, such as: a mortgage statement, lease agreement, TX voter registration card or a medical or health card; if you cannot provide two residency documents, you may be eligible to complete the Texas Residency Affidavit, instead

When applying for a state ID card, documents must be originals or certified copies. No laminated or photocopied documents will be accepted. If your name is no longer the same as the name on your documents, you must provide additional documents that verify a legal name change. These ID card documents may be a marriage license, divorce decree or court-ordered name change.

You must also bring a DMV ID card fee payment method accepted by the DPS. Driver license offices accept payments by cash, check, money order or credit card.

How to Get an ID in Texas

To learn where to get state ID in Texas, simply make plans to visit your closest driver license office. Although you cannot get ID online in Texas, some driver license offices allow you to “get in line” virtually, before going to the office.

You can save time by completing the ID application online, before going to the office. Or, you can get a copy when you apply for ID credentials in person. Give the clerk your completed application, and the documents listed above. You will provide your thumbprint and have your photo taken.

After paying the application fee, you will receive a temporary receipt. Carry this receipt with you, until your new card arrives by mail, usually within four to six weeks.

REAL ID Cards in Texas

A REAL ID card or driver license is one that meets the security standards set by the federal REAL ID Act of 2005. You do not need to specifically apply for REAL ID in Texas, because all of the state’s identification documents are REAL ID-compliant. This means that your TX ID card can be used for each of the purposes outlined in the REAL ID Act, including boarding commercial aircraft, entering nuclear power plants and accessing federal facilities, including military bases.

How to Renew or Replace a State ID in Texas

All renewal or replacement ID card transactions can happen in person, at a driver license office, following the same process used to obtain the original ID. Certain applicants will also be able to renew or replace a lost ID card online, or over the phone. If any of your identifying information, name or address has changed since your initial ID card application, you must update it at the time of renewal or replacement.

DMV ID Costs in Texas

How much does an ID cost in Texas? The DMV ID cost depends on the type of applicant and the type of ID card received. Applicants age 59 and younger will pay a $16 fee for a standard ID card or a limited-term ID.

Applicants for a standard ID card age 60 and older will pay $6. Individuals registered under Chapter 62, CCP (TX Sex Offender Registration Program) will pay $21 for an ID that expires in one year, instead of six years, like the other types of IDs.

Last updated on Wednesday, March 4 2020.