Birth certificates and Social Security cards rank #1 and #2 in the category of Really, Really, Really, Really Important Proofs of Identity. Need evidence? Try applying for a state ID card without one or both. Rejection will be swift.
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) does not accept excuses, especially when it comes to required proof of identity. Regardless of the state, applications for identification cards generally require a birth certificate and a Social Security card. If either has gone missing, you need to obtain a duplicate or what is called a certified copy.
Apply for a Certified Birth Certificate
Apply through your birth state’s Vital Records Office. It MUST be your birth state. Even if you’ve lived in South Carolina since you were four years old, but were born in New Mexico, you’d need to apply with New Mexico’s Vital Records Office.
Call the appropriate office for application assistance. In most instances you will need:
- Valid photo ID. (Oh irony, huh?)
- Proper payment to cover the cost. Fees vary by state. New Jersey, for example, charges $25, Rhode Island $20, and Kansas $15.
Processing times differ, but expect to weight between four and eight weeks.
Apply for Duplicate Social Security Card
Visit a Social Security office with:
- A completed Application for a Social Security Card. Download this from the U.S. Social Security Administration website, or obtained from your local Social Security office.
- A recently issued document proving your identity.
- Proof of U.S. citizenship if you were born outside the U.S. and did not show proof of citizenship when you got your card.
- Evidence of your current lawful status if you are not a U.S. citizen.
Replacement cards are free, with a limit of three per year and 10 overall. Legal name changes do not count towards limits.
Replace Lost Marriage Certificate or Divorce Certificate
Has your name changed? Applying for an ID card requires evidence via a marriage or divorce certificate. To replace one of these documents, contact your the Vital Records Office in the state where you were married or divorced.
In some instances you may be directed to the County Clerk in the county where the license was issued. Application procedures and fees vary by state and county.
Did you use your birth certificate and Social Security card when applying for your ID card?