There are 21 counties in the State of New Jersey. Residents of most of these counties can apply for a county ID to supplement the state-issued driver's license or identification card. Some counties no longer issue county IDs due to federal security requirements for government-issued identification enacted by the United States Department of Homeland Security. However, if you live in a county that still issues IDs, you can get a local identification card with a quick trip to the office of your County Clerk.
Download an Application Form
Visit the State of New Jersey's online alphabetical directory of official county and municipal websites. Browse to the website of the New Jersey county where you live to download a county ID application form. Website organization varies from county to county. Click on the navigation link that says "Office of the Clerk," "ID Cards" or "Forms."
Check Whether You Qualify
Download the form and read the requirements to make sure you qualify. You must be a citizen by birth, a naturalized citizen or a resident alien of the United States and a resident of the New Jersey county in question. Some 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. Some counties do not consider you a resident if you have not lived within the county lines for at least six months – regardless of how long you have lived in New Jersey.
Prove Your Residency
Prove your residency and eligibility for an ID in your county. The required documents typically include a valid birth certificate with a raised seal, a naturalization certificate or a resident alien card. Additionally, you'll need one of the following to prove residency: a valid New Jersey Motor Vehicle License, a voter registration card or a lease agreement. 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.
File the Application
Complete the county ID application form. Write legibly and follow the instructions carefully. Most applications ask for your name, home address, date of birth, height, weight, eye color, hair color and signature. Print the application but do not sign it yet. Go to the address listed for the office of the County Clerk on the application form and wait in the appropriate line. Sign the form when the county employee instructs you to do so, and give her the application fee. Fees vary from county to county. Mercer County, for example, charges a $20 fee or $ for seniors. An employee will take your picture and make you an ID card.
You can get a county ID card by proving your citizenship, legal status and residency, and taking your application to the local county clerk.
- 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.
Tim Hesse has been writing professionally since 2000. He has written and edited for a variety of print and online publications, including Salon.com Tech Tips, FOXSports and Automated Homefinder. Hesse enjoys covering music, film, the open-source movement, education and the arts. He studied cinema and television production at the University of Southern California.