Identification card in the U.S.A: Types and requirements

The identification card is similar to a driver’s license, which you can learn more about by clicking here. This identification card is issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles to citizens of any age, but can only be requested and used to corroborate a person’s identification.

Identification card in the U.S.A

There are two types of ID cards. On the one hand, there are the normal cards, which are valid for 6 years, while, on the other hand, there is the card issued for persons over 62 years of age, which is valid for the next 10 years.

Those who are beneficiaries of a governmental public assistance program, may apply for an identification card by submitting the form “Verification of reduced cost for ID card” to the Department of Vehicles.

What types of driver’s licenses are compatible with Real ID?

Real ID is a new form of identification provided by the new federal legislation. For this, they implemented a series of rules that must be met if the citizen intends to get a federally approved identification card or driver’s license. Below, we leave you all the driver’s licenses that are compatible with Real ID.

Driver’s License

If the applicant meets all the requirements, standards and procedures required by the national security regulations, the Real ID can be used as an identification document and as a permit to drive.

Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL)

The EDL is a document that allows U.S. citizens to cross borders and return, either by sea or land, from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda or the Caribbean.

The Enhanced Driver’s License is compatible with the Real ID, i.e., both can be used as a form of identification and a driver’s license.

Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)

The Commercial Driver’s License is an identification card intended for persons 18 years of age or older (or younger, with their state authorization). The CDL allows citizens to drive a car of greater complexity, i.e., vehicles used for public transportation (more than 16 passengers), or carrying hazardous cargo.

If you are part of the latter sector, it will be mandatory to apply for a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), otherwise, you will not be fit to drive these vehicles.

Non-Driver Identification card (NDR)

The non-driver ID is, as the name implies, an identification card that does not have the privileges of a driver’s license. Each state in the country has its own rules, but, generally, this card can be obtained regardless of the age of the applicant, as it is not a driver’s license.

In Vermont, for example, if you have a valid license in another state, you will not be able to apply for a non-driver ID card in Vermont.

FACT: The non-driver ID card is compatible with the Enhanced (EDL) and Real ID cards, but the same is not true for the Driver Privilege Card (DPC).

Driving Privilege Card (DPC)

The Driving Privilege Card (DPC) is not allowed for federal identification, since this identification card can only be used for driving and, therefore, is not compatible with Real ID. In fact, the card is marked “Driving Privilege Only” and “Not Valid for Identification”.

Identification card in the U.S.A

Which documents are valid as proof of identity?

In order to obtain a Real ID, it is an exclusive requirement to present an identity document, to verify the veracity of the applicant’s full name (first name, middle name and last name) and date of birth. These cards can be the following:

  • Valid U.S. passport or passport card.
  • Original or copy of U.S. birth certificate that is not abbreviated or abbreviated.
  • Certificate of U.S. citizenship or certificate of naturalization.
  • For Americans born abroad, the foreign birth certificate, or a consular report supporting the document, must be submitted.
  • Approved copy of birth certificate within the U.S. territory.
  • Valid foreign passport with U.S. visa and approved I-94 form.
  • Valid permanent resident card.
  • Valid foreign passport stamped “Processed for I-551”.
  • Employment Authorization Document (EAD) I-766 current, or expired, but with a Notice of Action (I-797 C).
  • Valid or expired Permanent Resident Card with Notice of Action (I-797 C) or Notice of Approval (I-797).
  • Other documents to prove the applicant’s identity.

Identification card in the U.S.A

Who cannot obtain a license?

Persons who are ineligible for a driver’s license are generally those who meet any of the following:

  • Under the age required to obtain a specific license or endorsement.
  • Under 18 years of age who have not passed a driver’s education course.
  • Persons under 18 years of age who have not signed a parent, guardian or custodian consent form.
  • Do not understand English traffic signs.
  • Persons who cannot prove that they are legally residing in the country.
  • Persons who have a suspended license.
  • Not a bona fide citizen.
  • Persons addicted to narcotics or alcohol.
  • If the personal information provided does not coincide with that of other entities, such as different names, surnames, dates of birth, different Social Security Numbers, addresses, etc.
  • Physically or mentally unable to drive a vehicle responsibly. In case the person has any disease in the central nervous system, a medical certificate must be requested stating that the applicant is fit to drive safely.

More information

If you want to know more about the Identification Cards in each state, you can access this link to know all the details. To learn more about the different types of driver’s licenses, feel free to click here.