How Do You Get a California State ID Card?


Quick Answer

To get a California identification card, go to a Department of Motor Vehicles office, complete an application, provide supporting documentation, give a thumbprint, and have your picture taken, as of 2015. Applicants other than senior citizens must pay an application fee to get a California ID.

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Full Answer

At the Department of Motor Vehicles office, present an original DL 44 application form; copies are not accepted. Supply proof of Social Security number in the form of an unlaminated Social Security card, a Medicare card, a U.S. Armed Forces identification card or a DD 214 military separation document. Verify your birth date and legal presence in the United States with documents such as a U.S. birth certificate, federal proof of Indian blood degree, U.S. passport, certificate of naturalization or citizenship, or a permanent resident card.

Check the address on your completed application before leaving the office, as the card is mailed to you. People wishing to renew their California identification cards can do so by following the same steps as for a new card, other than birth date, legal presence and Social Security number requirements. Some people in California can renew their identification cards by mail, and a person can check his eligibility at the California Department of Motor Vehicles website. People who meet certain income requirements are eligible for reduced-fee California identification cards.

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