Obtain An Identification Card In California

Do you need to apply for a state ID in California? The ID card application doesn't have to be complicated. We've collected helpful information to assist you with everything you need to know about getting an ID card and renewing an ID card. You will also learn how to replace your ID card in California or purchase a duplicate California ID card. Select from the options below to get started:

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1: Get Started with Online Application Assistance

Online application assistance services in California can facilitate the processes involved in many DMV related services by providing invaluable information and step-by-step instruction on how best to proceed. Whether you are looking to renew, replace or get a new CA driver’s license or ID card, online application assistance services can help with these and many more. Other benefits include one-click access to an entire inventory of official California forms and publications, as well as other useful CA resources.

2: By mail

Some drivers prefer to handle the renewal process by mail, rather than taking advantage of assistance services, visiting the DMV in person, or via available online services. Service by mail is available with limitations. Read below for additional details or visit your local DMV.

3: Via a DMV office

If your specific needs require an in-person visit, most, if not all, driver license services can be handled at your local DMV office. Varying DMV offices sometimes supply different types of services so you will need to check before your visit to make sure the DMV closest to you provides the service you require. In addition, you can call to see if your DMV allows you to make a personal appointment.

Regardless of why you do not own a driver's license, you will still need to apply for an ID card for various reasons, ranging from leisure activities to travel. Getting an ID card in California is simple, and you should begin the ID card application process as soon as you are ready.

Two types of identification

In California, there are two types of ID cards, a regular ID card valid for up to six years, and a senior citizen ID card valid for up to 10 years. (Must be 62 or older to apply.)

Obtaining a new ID card

To apply for an ID, first, you should plan a visit to your local driver's license office.

You will need to bring your Social Security card and $8 - free for a senior citizen ID ‐ (cash, ATM/debit, cashier's check or money are all acceptable) along with:

  • Certified U.S. birth certificate (or)
  • U.S. passport
  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • Certificate of Citizenship
  • U.S. Certificate of Birth Abroad
  • Resident Alien Card
  • Valid foreign passport with valid U.S. immigration document

You may also need an additional form of identification if one of the above documents does not contain a photo. For a list of these documents, click here.

What is a California state ID?

A state ID is an acceptable replacement for a drivers license typically used by minors, the elderly or by anyone who does not want a drivers license, but still needs identification in California. For more information on how to get an identification card in California, click here.

ID card renewal

In California, you will need to renew your state ID card every six years, or 10 years for a senior citizen ID. In order to renew your ID card, you will need to go into any State Revenue Office, bring two forms of ID and pay an $8 fee.

Replacement ID cards

If you have lost your ID card, or it has been stolen or severely damaged, you should look into replacing it immediately. A stolen ID card may even lead to identity theft, so it is crucial you replace your identification card as soon as possible. A lost identification card in California costs $27 (senior citizens pay no fee). The instructions for duplicate ID cards are similar, but be sure to bring everything you will need for your new ID card copy before you head to the DMV by clicking here.

For a list of related services, see below:

Obtain a new driver's license here.
Renew a driver's license here.
Replace a driver's license here.