How to Get a California ID Card:
• Visit your local California DMV.
• Complete a Driver License or Identification Card Application (Form DL 44).
• Provide proofs of your ID, SSN, birth date, and residency.
• Pay the $29 identification card fee.



California ID Card: Your Key to Official Identification

In the sprawling state of California, having a reliable form of identification is crucial. Whether you’re a resident, a student, or just visiting, a California ID card is your ticket to accessing various services and proving your identity when necessary. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into all aspects of the California ID card, from its application process to its numerous uses.

What Is a California ID Card?

A California ID card, also known as a “California Identification Card,” is an official identification document issued by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). It serves as a valid proof of identity and residency within the state.

The Application Process

Obtaining a California ID card is a straightforward process, and it doesn’t require you to be a driver. Here’s how to get yours:


To apply for a California ID card, you must:

Gather Required Documents

Before visiting a DMV office, make sure you have the following documents:

  • Proof of identity (e.g., birth certificate or passport).
  • Proof of Social Security number.
  • Proof of California residency (e.g., utility bill or rental agreement).

Visit a DMV Office

Head to your local DMV office and complete the ID card application form. You’ll also need to provide your thumbprint and have your photo taken.

Pay the Fee

There is a fee associated with obtaining a California ID card, but it can be waived for certain individuals, such as those experiencing homelessness.

Why Do You Need a California ID Card?

A California ID card has numerous practical applications:

 Proof of Identity

Whether you’re opening a bank account, applying for a job, or checking in at a hotel, a California ID card is widely accepted as proof of identity.

Age Verification

If you’re under 21, it can serve as proof of age when purchasing age-restricted items such as alcohol or tobacco.


A California ID card is a valid form of identification for registering and voting in state and federal elections.


While not a substitute for a passport, a California ID card can be used for domestic air travel and access to federal buildings.

Protecting Your California ID Card

Keep It Safe

Treat your California ID card like you would your driver’s license or passport. Keep it in a secure place to prevent loss or theft.

 Report Loss or Theft

If your ID card is lost or stolen, report it to the DMV immediately. They can help prevent identity theft.


California ID cards expire after a certain period. Make sure to renew yours before it expires to avoid any inconveniences.

• local California DMV.
• Complete a Driver License or Identification Card Application (Form DL 44).
• Proofs of your ID, SSN, birth date, and residency.
• Pay the $29 identification card fee.
For more details on how to get a California ID card, please see below.
Apply for an ID Card in California
You can apply for a California identification card at any age.
The California DMV issues the following identification cards:
• Regular ID card.
• Senior citizen ID card for residents over 62 years old.
To apply for an ID card you must visit a California Department of Motor Vehicles(DMV) office in
person to:
• Complete a Driver License or Identification Card Application (Form DL 44). This form is not
available online as it requires your original signature.
• Give your thumbprint.
• Have your picture taken.
If you wish to complete the application form before your visit to the CA DMV, you can call the DMV’s
automated telephone system at (800) 777-0133 to have the form mailed to you.
You will also need:
• Social Security number. If you are ineligible for a SSN but are legally present in the U.S., you can
still apply for a CA ID card.
• Original or certified copy of a document proving your date of birth or legal presence, such as your:
– CA driver’s license.
-U.S. passport.
-Birth certificate.
• An original or certified copy of a document proving your name if you’ve had a name change, such as
– Marriage certificate.
-Name change document showing both your original and new name.
-Adoption papers.
2 documents proving your California residency, which could include:- Home utility bills.

– Title or deed to your residence/property.
-Pay stub from your employer.
A complete list of acceptable documents, visit the CA DMV website.
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California ID Card Fees
It will cost you $29 for a:
• Original California ID.
• CA ID card renewal.
• Replacement CA ID card (for a lost or stolen card or a name change).
This ID Card valid for 6 years.
There is no cost:
• For a senior citizen card if you’re 62 years old or older. This card is valid for 10 years.
• Change your address.
• To exchange your driver’s license for a CA ID card if you’re no longer able to drive due to a physical or
mental condition. Contact your local CA DMV office for more information.
Reduced Fee CA ID Card
Meet income requirements from a government or public assistance program, you may be
eligible to receive a CA ID for a reduced fee of $8.
Will need to obtain a Verification for Reduced Fee Identification Card form (Form DL 937)
from the government or from a non-profit agency giving you assistance, and bring the completed
form with you to the CA DMV when you apply for your CA ID card.

Renew Your California ID Card
California ID card is valid for:
• 6 years for a regular ID card.
• 10 years for a senior citizen ID card.
You can renew your CA identification card online, by mail, or in person at a CA DMV office.
Renew in Online
To renew your CA ID card online, you must have:
• A Renewal By Mail Notice from the California DMV.
• SSN on DMV record.
• Valid credit card or bank account for payment.
• Same address and name; you must not be changing any details on your CA ID card.
Visit the California DMV website to renew you CA ID card online.


In California, your ID card is your gateway to various services and opportunities. Whether you’re a student, a resident, or a visitor, having a California ID card is essential. It’s not just a piece of plastic; it’s your key to official identification.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 Can I use a California ID card as a substitute for a driver’s license?

No, a California ID card is not a driver’s license. It is solely an identification document and cannot be used for driving.

 How long does it take to receive a California ID card after applying?

Typically, you will receive your California ID card by mail within 60 days after applying.

Can I use my California ID card to board a domestic flight?

Yes, a California ID card is an acceptable form of identification for domestic air travel within the United States.

Is there an age requirement for obtaining a California ID card?

Yes, you must be at least 16 years old to apply for a California ID card.

What should I do if I move to a new address after obtaining a California ID card?


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