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FFDL 6 Requirements for a California Identification Card

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What Is a California Identification (ID) Card?

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) issues an ID card to any person who provides his/her:

  • Acceptable birth date and legal presence (BD/LP) document.
  • True full name.
  • Social security number (SSN), if eligible for one. If you believe you are eligible for a SSN and have not been issued one, contact the Social Security Administration.
  • Proof of California residency.
  • Fingerprint image, to be taken at DMV.
  • Photograph, to be taken at DMV.
  • Prior ID card(s) in his/her possession, if any.

An ID card is valid for 6 years. There is a fee for original and renewal ID card applications.

A senior ID card is available to applicants age 62 or older. The senior ID card:

  • Has a banner with the words "Senior Identification Card" on the front.
  • Is free of charge.
  • Is valid for 10 years.

The senior ID card is optional; you may choose to pay for an ID card instead.

Documents Required to Apply for an ID Card

An acceptable BD/LP document is issued by an authority such as a county, state, or federal agency (see the Acceptable Documents section within this brochure). All applicants for an original ID card must submit proof of legal presence in the United States (U.S.) as authorized under federal law. These documents help ensure the accuracy and integrity of ID cards issued by DMV and help prevent identity theft. DMV will only accept an original document or a certified copy of the original. The documents listed in this brochure satisfy all BD/LP requirements. Document(s) presented at a DMV office will be returned to you.

NOTE: If you have an existing California DL record, you may be eligible for an ID card without the requirement of additional BD/LP documents. Applicants eligible for a driver license (DL) in compliance with Assembly Bill (AB) 60 (California Vehicle Code §12801.9), are not eligible for an ID card.

Acceptable Documents

Present 1 of the following BD/LP document(s) with your ID card application:

U.S. Issued Documents:

  • Birth certificate (state issued)
  • Valid or expired passport.
  • Birth certificate issued by a U.S. territory.
  • Certificate/Report of Birth Abroad (issued by the U.S. Department of State).
  • Federal Proof of Indian Blood Degree (issued by U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs).
  • Military ID cards or DD-214.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Issued Documents:

  • American Indian card.
  • U.S. Citizen ID card.
  • Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship.
  • Northern Mariana card.
  • Permanent Resident/Resident Alien card.
  • Temporary Resident ID card.
  • Nonresident Alien Canadian Border Crossing card.
  • Valid foreign passport with valid Record of Arrival/Departure (Form I-94).
  • Employment Authorization Document (EAD) I-766 card.
  • Valid foreign passport stamped "Processed for I-551."
  • Permanent Resident Re-entry Permit.
  • Refugee Travel Document.
  • Valid I-94 stamped "REFUGEE", "PAROLE" or  "PAROLEE", "ASYLEE", "HP", "PIP", Section(s) 207, 208, 209,  or 212d(2).
  • Valid I-94 with attached photo stamped "Temporary evidence of lawful admission for permanent residence."
  • Notice of Action (I-797 Approved Petition) indicating 1 of the following:
    • Approved extension of stay/change in status granting temporary or permanent residency
    • A card will be mailed to you by USCIS

Other Acceptable Documents:

  • Canadian passport (valid or expired).
  • Canadian birth certificate.
  • Immigration judge's order granting asylum.
  • Certified order/judgment issued from a court of competent jurisdiction, signed by the judge, stating the applicant's name, birth date, and place of birth or legal presence status.

What Is a "True Full Name"?

Your true full name is your current, complete name as it appears on your BD/LP or name change document(s). If the name on your BD/LP document is different than the name you provided on your application, you must submit an additional name change document. Name change documents that establish your true full name include:

  • Adoption documents that contain the legal name as a result of the adoption.
  • Name change documents that contains the legal name both before and after the name change.
  • Original or certified copy of your marriage certificate.
  • Dissolution of marriage/domestic partnership document that contains the legal name as a result of the court action.
  • Certificate, declaration, or registration document verifying the formation of a domestic partnership.

NOTE: If you are correcting or changing your name on an ID card, you must also correct or change your name on your DL (if you have one).

Social Security Number (SSN)

If you are eligible for or have been issued an SSN, you must include it on your application. Your SSN will be electronically verified with the Social Security Administration while you are in a DMV office. If you are eligible for an SSN and have not been issued one, contact the Social Security Administration. You must provide DMV with your SSN if you become eligible in the future.

Residency Documents

You must provide 2 different forms of acceptable California residency documents when applying for an original ID card. Residency documents marked with an asterisk (*) do not need to display the California address.

  • Rental/lease agreement with signatures of the owner/landlord and the tenant/resident.
  • Deed/title to residential real property.
  • Mortgage bill.
  • Home utility bill (including cellular phones).
  • School document as defined in California Code of Regulations §1606(a)(1).
  • Medical document.
  • Employment document.
  • Faith-based document with name/address of issuing organization.
  • Insurance documents, including medical, dental, vision, life, home, rental and vehicle.
  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) return.
  • California title or registration for a vehicle or vessel.
  • Change of address confirmation by the U.S. Postal Service (Form CNL 107).
  • Document issued by a government within the U.S. or the U.S. government institution as defined in California Code of Regulations §1602(b).
  • Property tax bill or statement.
  • Voter registration confirmation letter or postcard issued by the California Secretary of State or a local California county elections officer.
  • Proof of payment of resident tuition to a California public institution of higher education.
  • Original copy of an approved Claim for Homeowner’s Property Tax Exemption (BOE-266) form filed with a local California County Assessor.
  • Record of a financial institution as defined in California Code of Regulations §1610(c)(16).
  • Court document that lists the applicant as a resident of California.*
  • Letter on letterhead from a homeless shelter,  shelter for abused women, nonprofit entity, employer, faith-based organization, or government within the U.S. attesting that the applicant is a resident of California.*
  • A parent, legal guardian, or child may use a birth certificate, a spouse or domestic partner may use a marriage license domestic partner registration certificate to trace his/her relationship to the individual to whom 2 acceptable residency documents were addressed.*

Is There a Fee?

Generally, a fee is required when applying for an original ID card, renewing an ID card, or changing your name. In certain circumstances, the fee may be waived or reduced.  

  • Reduced Fee ID Card—You may be eligible to pay a reduced application fee for an original or renewal ID card if you meet income requirements for selected assistance programs.
  • No Fee ID Card—If you are a “homeless person” as defined by the McKinney-Vento Act which includes, but is not limited to, a homeless child or youth, homeless person, or an individual or family fleeing domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or another dangerous life threatening condition, you may be eligible for a no fee ID card.

For more information regarding a reduced fee ID card or no fee ID card, visit

How to Obtain Required Documents

You will need to order a certified copy of your BD/LP document if you do not have one. DMV will not accept photocopies, "informational copies," or documents with the statement "Informational, not a valid document to establish identity" or any similar statement.

NOTE: All contact information listed below is subject to change without notice.

Vital Statistics - U.S. Offices, Territories, and Possessions

For the most current contact information, visit or call the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) at 1-800-232-4636.

For U.S. citizens born abroad, contact the U.S. Department of State at (202) 955-0307.


USCIS processes immigration related services and benefit functions previously handled by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). For a full list of USCIS offices, visit or contact the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283.

FFDL 6 (REV 7/2016)

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