State ID card definition

In the United States, Identity documents are typically regional state-issued driver's license or identity card. There is no official mandatory national identity card issued nationwide by a federal agency that may be used as identification.

A State ID Card is a government issued form of identification containing personal and biometric information, that allows its holder to prove their identity and citizenship. It is similar to a driver’s license, but the holder is not required to take a driving test to obtain the ID. You state ID number will figure on the face of the card, usually somewhere near the top.

In some states like New York and California, DMV offices issue "Non-Driver ID Cards" as an alternative to driver's licenses. They are usually delivered in two weeks.

How to get a State ID

Any U.S. citizen can apply for an ID card. To obtain a state I.D. card and number, most states require:

  • A photograph
  • Application form
  • Application fee
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship
  • Proof of state residency
  • Social Security Number
  • Thumbprint taken

Requirements vary by state, so please check with your local DMV for further information.