How to Obtain an Official Photo ID

Photo identification is required for practically everything: to get a job, open a bank account, and to even order a drink at a bar. A driver's license or a learner's permit issued by a state agency are the most common forms of photo identification. However, if you are underage or your license has been suspended or revoked, you may want to obtain a non-driver photo ID card, or a state ID card as it is sometimes called. A state-issued photo ID card is a readily accepted form of identification for most purposes.

Obtain the application form for a state ID card at your local department of motor vehicles or by printing it from your state's website. Determine which documents you will need as proof of identity and date of birth in order to get your card. Usually a birth certificate and a Social Security card will do, but some alternatives may be accepted, and some states may require documentation that goes beyond those two items. Find a link to all 50 states in Resources.

Fill out the necessary forms and be prepared to pay a nominal fee, sometimes depending upon your age. Determine which methods of payment are acceptable. Visit your local DMV to submit your form with the necessary proof of identity and date of birth documents, and you will be instructed to take a photograph for your ID.

Wait for your photo ID to arrive in the mail, normally within a few weeks.

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Things Needed

  • Social Security card
  • Birth certificate

About the Author

Melissa Cole began writing as a local newspaper reporter in 2008. Her work also appears on various websites. Cole is a public-television producer and media professional, as well as a vegan and former varsity track-and-field MVP and team captain. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and politics from New York University.

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