How Can I Get a Government-Issued ID Card Now?

By Delores Williams - Updated June 20, 2017
Id card in hand

Having a government-issued identification card is essential in today's world. Without one, a person cannot travel by plane, obtain government benefits, get a job or passport, or cash a check. Visiting your local Department of Motor Vehicles is the fastest way to obtain your official ID.

Obtain documents proving your place of birth and legal name. This can be verified by a birth certificate, passport, naturalization papers or visa. Depending on the state, some additional information may be required of applicants who are not U.S. citizens.

Obtain a second form of ID and proof of residence. This can include a school ID, utility bill or a social security card.

Visit the Department of Motor Vehicles and fill out the appropriate form for a state-issued ID card. This can often be done online. After presenting your identification documents, you may be required to be photographed and fingerprinted (depending on the state).

Pay the required fee. In some states, you can obtain your ID card immediately; in others, it will be mailed to you within a month.

Tip

Try to renew your ID at least a month before its expiration. .

Warning

Keep your birth certificate somewhere safe. If it is lost, someone can steal your identity.

About the Author

Delores Williams is an author/ new media strategist. She has written over 500 articles on a variety of topics over the past ten years. Her work has been published by Oxford Press, online, and in newspapers around the Country. She is a graduate of Lee University.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article