You may need to submit a government-issued photo ID to verify your identity for ID.me partners. Photo IDs are used to help prove who you are. This article offers information about how to apply for government-issued photo IDs.
About photo identification
A government-issued photo ID includes your photograph, along with other personal information, like your name and date of birth. You need a photo ID, like a state-issued driver's license or a passport, when verifying using self-service and as a primary document when verifying on a video call. For a full list of primary ID documents ID.me accepts, visit Primary and secondary identification documents.
Documents to apply for photo IDs
Requirements to apply for government-issued photo IDs vary, depending on the ID you are applying for and the government agency where you apply for the ID. To apply for a government-issued photo ID, you may need:
- Social Security card - Learn how to apply for the first time or replace your card.
- Proof of residency or current address - Such as a utility bill, financial statement, or lease.
- Proof of citizenship - Learn about providing citizenship evidence.
- Birth certificate - Learn how to get a copy of your birth certificate.
- Financial documents - For example, a loan or bank statement.
Photo ID application tips
The application process to apply for a photo ID is usually done through government agencies. The table below lists common photo IDs and tips for how to apply.
United States citizens
The table below lists common primary photo IDs for US citizens, what each photo ID is, and tips for how to apply for each card or ID.
|Type of photo ID
|Tips to apply for photo IDs
|Driver’s license, state ID, or learner's permit from a U.S. state or territory
Apply for a driver’s license or state ID through your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles.To find more information about applying for a driver’s license or state ID, visit USA.gov, then select your state.
|U.S. Passport or Passport card
A U.S. passport or passport card is an official travel document that proves your identity. United States citizens must apply for a passport or passport card through the U.S. Department of State.
For help applying for a passport, along with frequently asked questions, visit the State Department’s Passport Help.If you already have a U.S. passport or passport card and need to renew it, visit Already Have a Passport.
|Veterans health ID card
A Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC) is a photo ID veterans can apply for through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.You must be enrolled in VA health care to get the ID card. Learn how to apply for VA health care or find a VA medical center near you to speak with an enrollment coordinator.
|DHS trusted traveler cards
The Trusted Traveler Card Program is run by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. This program includes Global Entry, TSA PreCheck®, SENTRI, NEXUS, and FAST.Learn more about Trusted Traveler Programs and how to apply.
|Federally recognized, Tribal-issued photo ID
Tribal identification cards are issued by tribes to prove your enrollment and membership in the tribe.
Contact your tribe for details on how to apply for a tribal ID card.
|Certificate of naturalization
A certificate of naturalization is issued to an individual who became a U.S. citizen after 18 years of age through the naturalization
To learn more about getting a Naturalization Certificate, visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
If you are a former inmate, visit Verifying your identity if you were incarcerated for tips and resources to get identity documents you may need.
Some photo IDs are accepted as primary documents, even if you aren’t a US citizen. The table below lists common primary photo identification documents for non-US citizens and where to get them.
|Type of photo ID
|Tips to apply for photo IDs
|U.S. Permanent resident card
A U.S. permanent resident card, also known as a Green Card, is issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
|USCIS-issued employment authorization card
An Employment Authorization document or card proves you are allowed to work in the United States.
You must apply for a USCIS authorization card through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
|Non-U.S. Passport or National ID card
To apply for a Non-U.S. passport or National ID card, contact the government agency in your country.
|Canadian driver’s license
To legally drive a car in Canada, you need a driver’s license issued by the government of your province or territory.
To learn more, visit the Canadian government’s website.
Who to contact for help
If you have questions about the application process for any of the photo IDs mentioned in this article, contact a lawyer or the agency you’re applying through.
ID.me can help with questions like:
- Which identity documents you need to verify for an ID.me partner.
- Questions about managing your ID.me account.
- How to complete identity verification when you’re having trouble.