How to Obtain a National ID Card

by Palmer Owyoung; Updated September 26, 2017
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Most people use a driver's license as a form of identification in the United States. However, you can get a national ID card if you don't own a driver's license. These cards are issued to residents who are 18 years or older and are used for identification purposes. It's a fairly simple process to apply for the ID, and it takes about one month to receive it.

Step 1

Apply for citizenship. This step is applicable only if you are not yet a registered U.S. citizen. Go to U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services to apply for the national ID card. Choose the form that is appropriate for you.

Step 2

Fill out form DS-82 if you have a passport. The passport needs to have been issued to you within the past 15 years and it needs to have been issued when you were at least 16 years old. The passport should be undamaged and in good condition.

Step 3

Fill out form DS-11 if you have not been issued a passport or if it has been lost or damaged.

Step 4

Prepare two current passport pictures or photos and a $30 check payable to the U.S. Department of State if you filled out form DS-82.

Step 5

Prepare two current passport pictures or photos, and documents that verify your citizenship and support your identity such as a driver's license and a birth certificate. You may also use a social security card if you do not have a driver's license. Prepare $55l payable to the U.S. Department of State.

Step 6

Send the DS-82 form together with the passport pictures and the $30 check to the address written on the form.

Step 7

Bring the DS-11 form to the authorized U.S. Department of the State facility. Include the two passport photos, the supporting documents and the $55.

Step 8

Wait for you application of US national ID card to be processed. This usually takes one to two months to process.

About the Author

Palmer Owyoung holds a Master of Arts in international business from the University of California at San Diego and a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from the University of California at Santa Barbara and is a trained molecular biologist. He has been a freelance writer since 2006. In addition to writing, he is a full-time Forex trader and Internet marketer.

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