If you’re not the driving type and don’t own a drivers license, an ID card becomes a must. It serves as the perfect photo ID. You can use identification cards for boarding planes, checking into hotels, cashing checks, and more.
Applying for an ID Card
How you apply for an identification card depends on your state; in most instances you will need to visit your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office and meet all or some of the following requirements:
- Provide proof of identity.
- Provide proof of lawful status.
- Provide either your Social Security number or proof of ineligibility.
- Provide proof of state residence.
- Turn in your drivers license, if applicable (you cannot simultaneously hold a drivers license and an ID card).
- Provide proper payment. This sounds like a no-brainer, until you realize some DMV offices do not accept credit or debit cards. If in doubt, call your DMV office.
All motor vehicle agency offices are extremely strict on acceptable documents. Don’t guess. Be certain. Contact your DMV before visiting. Show up with a missing or wrong ID document and your application will be rejected. Also, keep in mind that document photocopies will not be accepted. All documents must be originals or certified.
Enhanced ID Card (EID)
Somes states now offer enhanced ID cards; these are similar to the Enhanced Driver License (EDL). You can use these in the place of passports for entering Canada, Mexico, and other participating nations under the Federal Western Hemisphere Initiative (FWHI). Check our state-specific page on identification cards to see if you’re state offers EIDs.
The EID application process is more involved. In addition to the documents listed above, you may also need to visit a specific DMV office and/or agree to an interview with a DMV agent.
Do you have an EID card? How was the application process for you? Do you use your card in place of a passport?