In New Jersey, an individual can get a county identification card if they are a U.S. citizen and a resident of the county. A person obtains a county ID card from the county clerk’s office. New Jersey residents must make an in-person appointment and pay a fee to the county clerk, typically of between $15 and $20.
A county ID card includes the individual’s photo, name, address, date of birth, height, weight, hair and eye color, and signature. A county ID card is valid for four years from when it was issued.
Documents for NJ County ID Card
An applicant must provide one document from the following list as evidence of identity and citizenship:
- U.S. certified birth certificate with raised seal.
- U.S. passport, current or expired, within the last three years.
- Naturalization certificate.
- Certificate of citizenship.
- County voter registration card of the same county in which the person is currently applying.
An applicant must also provide two documents to prove they live in the county in which they are applying. These can be:
- State of New Jersey driver’s license with address in the county in which the person is applying.
- Utility bill, such as telephone (landline), electric or gas within the last 90 days.
- W-2 form or correspondence with the IRS/state tax office in the past year.
- Recent pay stub showing name and address.
- Current lease in the applicant’s name and address.
- Property tax bill or statement from the past year.
- Checking or savings account statement within the past 60 days.
- School ID card or current school report card.
- Recent postmarked correspondence from an attorney, court, hospital or government agency.
- Social Security card.
An address with a P.O. box does not prove residence in the county. If the applicant wants to get an ID card with a name that's different from their documentation, they must show a certified copy of the court order of a name change or a certified copy of a marriage certificate. An applicant age 17 or younger must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian with identification.
Purpose of County ID Card
A New Jersey county ID card is a photo ID for individuals who may not have a driver’s license but want some form of photo identification as a county resident. The ID card shows that the person has been a resident of the county for some time, typically for at least six months. A county ID card does not allow a person driving privileges and is not the same as a state ID card.
New Jersey Municipal ID Card
A municipal ID card is a photo ID card that proves a person is a resident of a particular city in New Jersey. The card allows the person to receive various services from the city. An individual obtains a municipal ID card from the city rather than from the county. The fee for a municipal ID card is typically between $15 and $20. The minimum age to obtain a municipal ID card can be as young as 14.
In order to get a municipal ID card, an applicant must show a sufficient number of documents to prove identity and residency. Documents to prove identity include:
- New Jersey driver’s license.
- State ID card with photo.
- U.S. passport.
- U.S. birth certificate.
- Visa or current U.S. work permit.
Documents required for proof of residency include:
- Employment pay stub.
- Auto insurance card.
- Local property tax statement.
- Utility or cable bill with current address.
Depending on the city, a municipal ID card can serve as a form of identification to open a checking account at participating banks. It can also provide discounts at restaurants in the city, services at local libraries, free membership to city museums, and entry to public buildings such as schools. In addition, a municipal ID card allows residents access to services at facilities like hospitals and municipal agencies.
- Write legibly and follow the instructions carefully.
- If you don't have a printer, go to the Office of the County Clerk of the county in question and request a county ID card application form in person. Take it home, complete it, assemble the required supporting documents, and return to the County Clerk to sign and submit it.
- Application fees vary from county to county. As of 2010, Mercer County charges a $20 fee to all applicants and Hunterdon County charges $10. Also as of 2010, Hunterdon County charges $5 to applicants over the age of 60.
- Some New Jersey counties, like Mercer, require applicants to reach a minimum age of 16 before they can receive a county ID. Minors or parents of minors should read the application instructions carefully for specific rules regarding applicants under 18 years of age.
- If you do not have proof of residency, you must bring a parent, a guardian or a relative who can prove her residency in the county in question and officially vouch for you.
Jessica Zimmer is a journalist and attorney based in northern California. She has practiced in a wide variety of fields, including criminal defense, property law, immigration, employment law, and family law.