How Can I Get a California ID If I Don't Have a Birth Certificate?

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The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) issues a regular identification card that can be used for six years and a senior citizen identification card that can be used for 10 years. If you can no longer drive because of a physical or mental incapacity, the DMV will exchange your driver's license for an identification card at no cost. Identification cards may be issued to any California resident regardless of age.

Gather your documents. You will need your Social Security card and birth certificate to apply for a California identification card. You do not need your birth certificate if you have a California driver's license. The California DMV will accept a passport, military ID, certificate of naturalization, permanent resident card or another specialty document, in place of your birth certificate. The list of acceptable documents is available under Resources.

Read More: How to Get a California State ID Card

Go to a California DMV field office. Bring your Social Security card, California driver's license if you have one, and a document that will substitute for your birth certificate.

Fill out the DL 44 Application form. This form is available at the DMV office, or you can call 1-800-777-0133 to have one mailed to you.

Give your thumbprint.

Have your photo taken.

Pay the fee for a new card. The card is free if you are age 62 or over. You will receive your new card in the mail within 60 days.


  • Make an appointment at the DMV for faster service.

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