What Can I use as an ID

What Can I Use as ID? | Alternate Forms of ID Other Than a Driver’s License

While the U.S. driver’s license is considered the number one proof of identification, it’s not actually totally unheard of that a citizen does not have a driver’s license. If someone has no need to drive, they may never have to obtain this particular form of picture ID. While you should always hold a certified copy of your birth certificate, this is only considered proof of citizenship and not a valid form of identification. If you don’t happen to have a driver’s license and you’re asking yourself “What can I use as an ID?”, please read on for more information about alternative forms of ID you might want to look into. 

What can I use as an ID?

If you do not drive and therefore have no use for a driver’s license, you have some options when it comes to other types of ID. If you’re looking for primary forms, or IDs that will allow you to board planes, get onto cruise ships or cross borders, your best option is going to be a U.S. Passport book or card. You can also get a state issued non-driver ID similar to a driver’s license  through your DMV.. Now that the Real ID is being officially rolled out, if you’re planning to board domestic flights or enter federal facilities, a simple state issued ID won’t be enough. You will need to obtain the upgraded Real ID.

There are several other types of ID’s you can obtain if you don’t need or want a driver’s license. From Passports to military IDs, and even Real IDs or state issued ID cards, you can still travel and take care of official business without a license. 

Other alternate forms of IDs can include a U.S. Military ID, or a Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship with an identifiable photo. These can be used as primary forms of ID due to the process it takes in order to obtain them. They have your photo on them as well, so they can be presented as a primary form of ID in situations like booking a hotel room, using your credit card, or enrolling your kids in school. You can also use Enhanced Tribal Cards, Native American tribal photo IDs, Trusted Traveler Cards, learners permits etc.  For secondary forms of ID, you can use your social security card, a voter registration card, and in some cases an employee or student ID. For a full list of primary and secondary IDs that can be used for official purposes, check the U.S. Department of State’s travel site here.

Why do I need alternate forms of ID?

There are thousands of situations where you may be required to present a photo or secondary ID. Traveling is a huge reason you’d want to be able to identify yourself, so ensuring you have adequate documentation on hand is important. Getting a library card, making credit card purchases, even enrolling your children in school or sports will all require proof of identification. If you need to hook up utilities for your home, you’ll need a valid primary picture ID. It’s also important to obtain more than one form of identification, so obtaining at least one primary form of ID and one secondary form of ID should be on your radar. You’ll need this for things like starting a new job or applying for a loan. For steps on how to obtain the most common forms of ID, check out our blog about proof of identification here. Holding a valid photo ID is important for a variety of reasons, even if you don’t drive. Don’t get stuck without this very important piece of documentation!


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