The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) issues ID cards to California residents of any age. The ID card resembles a driver’s license but can only be used as identification. An ID issued to anyone under the age of 62 remains valid for six years. For residents 62 or older, the ID remains valid for ten years. The fee for a California ID is $30, as of 2018. There is no fee for persons ages 62 or older. Residents who meet certain income conditions may pay a reduced fee of $8, as of 2018.
Check if You Qualify
You qualify for a reduced ID charge if you qualify for one of the following assistance programs: CalWorks, Aid for Families With Dependent Children, Food Stamps, California Food Assistance, Supplemental Security Income, Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants or General Assistance.
Request a Certificate of Eligibility
Request and obtain a completed form DL 937 from an “eligibility worker” of the program providing you assistance. Typically, these forms are not circulated to the public and must be completed by program personnel rather than the applicant.
Fill Out the DMV Paperwork
Visit your nearest or most convenient Department of Motor Vehicles office. Complete application form DL 44 and include your current address and Social Security number. Give a thumb print and have your photo taken.
Pay the Fee
Pay the reduced fee of $8. Your ID card is mailed to you within 60 days.
- California Department of Motor Vehicles: Driver License and Identification Card Information, How to Apply for or Renew Your Identification (ID) Card
- County of Santa Clara: “Reduced Fee for California Identification Cards (Revised)”; Santa Clara County Social Services Agency
- California Department of Motor Vehicles: Identification Card Application Fees
- California DMA Identification Card Fees
Don Davis has been a professional writer since 1977. He has had numerous writing jobs, including writing news and features for the "Metrowest Daily News" and "Los Angeles Herald-Examiner." Davis has a Bachelor of Arts in English and history from Indiana State University.