Requirements For A California Driver License/Identification (DL/ID) Card
Identity Requirements for an Original DL/ID Card
When you apply for an original California driver license/Identification (DL/ID) card, you must present:
- An acceptable birth date/legal presence (BD/LP) document(s).
- An acceptable true full name document if the name of your BD/LP document is different from the name on your DL/ID card application.
- Your social security number (SSN). It will be verified with the Social Security Administration (SSA) while you are in the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office. You must also provide verification of your SSN to change an existing SSN on DMV's database.
For additional application requirements, refer to the California Driver Handbook or visit www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/pubs.htm.
What is an Acceptable Document?
An acceptable BD/LP or name change document is one produced by an issuing authority such as a county, state, or federal agency. Documents issued by Vital Statistics offices will be a certified copy of the original (the original is always retained by the issuing authority) and will contain an impressed seal or an original stamped impression. Other issuing agencies may issue you original documents. After being presented at a DMV office, your document will be returned to you. DMV does not accept photocopies of documents for BD/LP or true full name verification.
NOTE: A visa is not acceptable as evidence of legal presence in the United States (U.S.).
What Is a True Full Name?
Your true full name appears on your BD/LP document. If you change your name, then you must provide one of the following documents to verify your name change:
- Adoption documents that contain the legal name as a result of the adoption.
- A name change document that contains the legal name both before and after the name change.
- Marriage certificate (issued from a government agency).
- Dissolution of marriage/domestic partnership document that contains the legal name as a result of the court action.
- A certificate, declaration, or registration document verifying the formation of a domestic partnership.
List of Acceptable BD/LP Documents
Present one of the following for a DL/ID card application.
- U.S. Birth Certificate or U.S. Passport.
- U.S. Certificate or 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).
- American Indian Card (I-551) (issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services [USCIS]).
- Birth Certificate or passport issued from a U.S. territory.
- U.S. Citizen Identification Card (issued by USCIS).
- U.S. Military Identification Cards.
- Common Access Card (only if designated as Active Military or Active Reserve or Active Selected Reserve).
- Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship (issued by USCIS).
- Northern Mariana Card (issued by USCIS).
- Permanent Resident Card (issued by USCIS).
- Temporary Resident Identification Card (issued by USCIS).
- Canadian passport or birth certificate.
- Nonresident Alien Canadian border crossing card (issued by USCIS).
- Valid foreign passport with a valid Record of Arrival/Departure (Form I-94) (issued by USCIS).
- Certification from California Department of Corrections or California Youth Authority.
- Employment Authorization Card (issued by USCIS).
- "Processed for I-551" stamped in a valid foreign passport (issued by USCIS).
- Permanent Resident Re-entry Permit (issued by USCIS).
- Refugee Travel Document (issued by USCIS).
- Valid I-94 stamped "Refugee," "Parole or Parolee," "Asylee," or Section 207, Section 208, Section 209, Section 212d(2), HP or PIP (issued by USCIS).
- Valid I-94 with attached photo stamped "Temporary evidence of lawful admission for permanent residence" (issued by USCIS).
- Notice of Action (I-797 Approved Petition) (issued by USCIS) – must indicate approved extension of stay or change in status that grants temporary or permanent residency, or indicates that an original, duplicate or renewal Resident Alien card is forthcoming.
- Immigration judge's order granting asylum.
- Mexican border crossing card with valid I-94 (issued by USCIS).
- Certified court order or judgment issued from a court of competent jurisdiction. Must contain name, birth date, place of birth, legal presence status, and judge's signature.
If you receive a stamp on your foreign country passport in lieu of a paper Form I-94, you must visit the U.S. Custom and Border Protection (CBP) website at www.cbp.gov/I94 to print a copy of your electronic I-94. The I-94 printout, along with the stamped passport, is required before DMV can process your DL/ID card application.
Changing Your Name
To change your name, bring in your old DL/ID card and an acceptable name change document. There is a fee to change your name on your DL/ID card (there is no fee for a senior citizen ID card). Another picture and thumb print will be taken.
What Are the Requirements for a Name Change Document?
The name change documents listed in the list of Acceptable BD/LP Document section must be:
- Provided by an authorized U.S. governmental agency or foreign jurisdiction.
- A legible and unaltered original or certified copy.
- Used only for a change of name on an existing California DL/ID card or when the name on your BD/LP document is different from the name on your DL/ID card application form.
Do You Need to Replace Documents?
If you need to replace or obtain your birth date/ legal presence (BD/LP) document, refer to the Vital Statistics information on the outside panel or visit www.vitalrec.com. Immigration-related service and benefit functions of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) transitioned into the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as the USCIS. The customer service phone number and website for USCIS is listed on the back panel.
Why Is DMV so Careful About Identification?
It is critical that identification documents and systems be authentic and accurate in order to positively and uniquely identify each individual. The California legislature has declared the California driver license and identification DL/ID card as the primary identification documents in this state. California state law requires that all applicants for an original California DL/ ID card submit proof of legal presence in the United States (U.S.) as authorized under federal law. Your true full name, as shown on your legal presence document and/or your name change document, will appear on your DL/ID card. These requirements help safeguard the accuracy and integrity of the documents issued by the DMV.
Vital Statistics Offices – States
Call to request a "Full Record" certified copy of your birth certificate or visit www.vitalrec.com. Order an authorized copy of your vital record. "Informational copies" of documents and/or documents with the statement "Informational, not a valid document to establish identity" or any similar statement, will not be accepted for DL/ID card or name change applications.
NOTE: These phone numbers are subject to change without notice.
|District of Columbia||(202) 671-5000|
|Florida||(904) 359-6900 ext. 1029|
|New Hampshire||(603) 271-4654|
|New Jersey||(866) 649-8726|
|New Mexico||(866) 534-0051|
|New York||(518) 474-3070|
|New York City||(212) 788-4520|
|North Carolina||(919) 733-3526|
|North Dakota||(701) 328-2360|
|Rhode Island||(401) 222-2811|
|South Carolina||(803) 898-3630|
|South Dakota||(605) 773-4961|
|West Virginia||(304) 558-2931|
Vital Statistics Offices — Territories and U.S. Possessions
Call to request a "Full Record" certified copy of your birth certificate or visit www.vitalrec.com.
|American Samoa||(684) 633-1406|
|Canal Zone||(202) 955-0307|
|Puerto Rico||(787) 767-9120|
St. Thomas, and St. John
|(340) 774-9000, ext. 4685 or 4686|
|Commonwealth of the
Northern Mariana Islands
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a Bureau of Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
|National Customer Service Center||1-800-375-5283|
For a list of local USCIS offices visit www.uscis.gov.
U.S. Department of State
|For U.S. citizen born abroad||(202) 955-0307|
NOTE: All phone numbers are subject to change without notice.
FFDL 05 (REV. 8/2013)