What Is Considered a Valid ID?

In most states, picture IDs issued by the government are considered valid forms of ID. This includes driver’s licenses, photo driver permits and state issued non-driver identification cards.

The exact form of valid ID that is acceptable depends on the use and the organization in question. For instance, in Tennessee, to obtain a driver’s license, a certified birth certificate, a military ID and unexpired passports are considered valid forms of identification. Citizen documentation, marriage licenses and divorce decrees are valid IDs in that state.

For the majority of standardized tests such as the ACT, the only forms of valid ID accepted are photo driver’s license or any other photo identification issued by the state, the federal government or a school.

Government issued IDs are the most common form of ID required for applying for a driver’s license, traveling and providing proof of identification in other instances. Many states require additional sources of identity verification when a person applies for a passport or driver’s license. This includes social security cards, natural resident cards or proof of address such as a utility bill or a paycheck stub. Other sources of secondary identification include W-9s, tax forms, 1099 forms, governmental assistance letters and residential mortgage or lease statements.