State-issued identification is often necessary in a variety of situations, including obtaining social services, voting, financial transactions and getting a job. Most states require proof of identity, such as a birth certificate, to obtain state-issued identification. Furthermore, states often require identification to provide a replacement birth certificate. This makes getting identification difficult for homeless people, although some states offer alternative methods to obtain identification. Each state has different rules regarding identification for the homeless so check with your department of motor services.
Obtain a birth certificate, if possible, for the homeless person. All states will issue a state identification with a birth certificate.
Find out if your state accepts alternative documents to prove residency if the homeless person does not have a birth certificate. Oregon, for instance, allows residents to use receipts from motels or campgrounds to establish residency. A letter from a homeless shelter may also suffice in some states.
Bring other documents, such as social services cards, insurance cards, arrest records or records of school enrollment when trying to obtain an identification for a homeless person.
Encourage the state department that issues identifications to search the Federal Homeless Management Information System. Any organizations that utilize Housing and Urban Development funds have to establish identifiers for all the people they serve. State ID departments can use this information to verify a person’s identity.
Fill out the appropriate forms and pay any fees, once the state department has accepted the alternative documentation to prove residency. The fees will vary based on the state. Some states waive the fee for people below a certain income.