How to get an ID without a photo id

To obtain any form of legal identification, such as a passport, a driver's license, a military identification card or a government ID card, many people opt to present some form of photo ID. However, you don't have to have photo ID to obtain a photo ID. It is possible to obtain identification, even photo identification, by presenting to a government agent a non-photo form of ID, which is known as a secondary ID.

Collect several signed legal documents, such as a Social Security card, credit card, library card or bank card, that state who you are and can serve as pieces of secondary identification.

Call your city hall or you state's vital statistics department to acquire a signed copy of your birth certificate, if you can only find one or two secondary ID documents.

Contact someone who you have known well for at least two years. This person must be someone who can accompany you to obtain your new ID to serve as an identifying witness. The person must vouch for you and swear under the penalties of perjury that you are the person who you say you are.

Ask for an affidavit called Form DS-71 when you arrive at the city hall, state house, department of motor vehicles or other location where you obtain a new photo ID. The identifying witness must fill out and sign the affidavit at the photo ID location.

Pay the required fee, if necessary, for your new photo identification. A government official takes your photograph and issues you identification document. Keep it in a safe place.


Call the government agency that issues whatever form of ID you want to verify the rules or document required documents prior to going to the office. The identifying witness also must bring a valid form of identification.

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Things Needed

  • Social Security card
  • Credit card
  • Library card
  • Bank card
  • Official copy of birth certificate
  • Person you've known for more than two years

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