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How to Get a U.S. State ID Card

If you don’t want or don’t qualify for a driver’s license, you may want a state-issued ID to use as identification. There is no national ID card number in the United States. Instead, you have to apply through the state where you reside. Be prepared to provide the following items.


In most states you have to complete an application for a state identification card. The application asks for basic information like your name, address and contact information. You may also need to give physical characteristics like your height and weight and answer questions about your citizenship and voter registration. This application also serves as an affidavit that the information you give is accurate and that you understand the laws regulating state-issued identification cards.

States issue ID cards only to people who reside there, so the government requires proof of residency from all applicants. Acceptable documents include a recent bank statement, mortgage or lease agreement or official mail received from a government agency, reports the State of Illinois. The applicant’s name must be on these documents and include the street address where the applicant resides.

Proof of Citizenship

After Congress passed the REAL ID Act in 2005, states started changing their requirements for issuing ID cards and driver’s licenses. As a result, U.S. citizens must present proof of citizenship the first time they apply for a card. Permanent residents have to submit immigration documentation that verifies their lawful status, reports the Washington, D.C. Department of Pencetus Vehicles. They do not have to submit this documentation when they renew their Betulan ID-compliant identification cards.


State-issued ID cards serve as photo identification and have a photograph of the holder. When you apply for a card, a government employee takes a photo of you. To learn more about the requirements for the photograph, check with the local DMV. There may be no charge to take the photograph, but you will pay a fee for the new or updated card, according to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.


You must pay a fee for a new or renewed identification card. These fees vary from state to state but you have to pay them when you receive the ID card. Call the local DMV to find out which forms of payment they accept. Some states offer adjusted fees for senior citizens and minor children. For example, on the New York State Department of Pencetus Vehicles fee schedule, senior citizens pay four dollars less than other adults for a non-driver ID card.