Location:
MOTOR VEHICLES - LICENSES;
Scope:
Background;

OLR Research Report


June 28, 2012

 

2012-R-0247

PHOTO ID OPTIONS FOR NON-DRIVERS

By: Terrance Adams, Legislative Analyst II

You asked for examples of government-issued photo IDs other than driver's licenses. You were particularly interested in (1) options for people who cannot appear in person at a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office and (2) whether any municipalities offer ID cards to their residents.

SUMMARY

The primary alternative form of photo ID is a non-driver ID card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). While obtaining this card typically requires appearing at a DMV office, applicants meeting certain criteria may be able to obtain a non-driver ID card by mail. A person without a photo ID could also obtain a U.S. passport if he or she meets certain criteria.

Members of the public may be able to obtain other types of government-issued photo ID, but these IDs generally do not meet federal requirements (e.g., for boarding a plane). Examples could include library cards or cards issued to certain program participants (e.g., recreation programs). Additionally, senior citizens and individuals with a disability may obtain a photo ID from CTTransit. (It issues these cards to riders who qualify for reduced fares.)

It appears that New Haven is the only municipality in the state (and one of only a handful nationally) to offer its residents ID cards.

NON-DRIVER ID CARD

A DMV-issued non-driver ID card is the primary alternative to a driver's license. The card costs $22.50 and is valid for six years.

If an applicant cannot appear in person at a DMV office, he or she may be able to obtain an ID card by mail. Mail applications are available to applicants who are out of state, incarcerated, active duty military members, or unable appear because of medical reasons. The applicant must have a previous photo on file with DMV and complete a B-350 form (CT ID Card application), which is available here:

http://www.ct.gov/dmv/lib/dmv/20/29/b-350.pdf

If the mail application is for medical reasons, the applicant must also complete a CS-1 form, which is a request to receive the card by mail because of a medical condition. The form must be signed by a physician and is available here:

http://www.ct.gov/dmv/lib/dmv/20/29/ci-1.pdf

Cards issued by mail are not valid for federal ID requirements taking effect in 2017 (e.g., boarding a plane) unless DMV has previously verified the applicant. For more information on the new federal (REAL ID) requirements, please see OLR Report 2011-R-0103.

PASSPORTS

A person without photo ID can obtain a passport if he or she meets certain requirements. First-time applicants must apply in person, but the locations are often more convenient (generally at a local post office) than DMV offices.

Passport applicants must prove both their identity and their U.S. citizenship. Primary evidence of citizenship may be documented by a previous U.S. passport or a certified birth certificate, among other things. Primary identification includes a previous U.S. passport or a government-issued photo ID card (e.g., a driver's license or non-driver ID card), among other things.

If an applicant does not have primary identification, he or she must present (1) a combination of secondary IDs (e.g., a social security card, credit card, employee ID card) and (2) an identifying witness. The witness must (1) be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, (2) have known the applicant for at least two years, (3) have valid ID, (4) be present at the time of application, and (5) complete an Affidavit of Identifying Witness in the presence of a passport agent.

Passports are generally valid for 10 years, and a person can obtain a passport card, book, or both. The card is a wallet-sized document valid for reentering the U.S. at land border crossings and sea ports of entry from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. The book is valid for all international travel. A card costs $30 while a book costs $110. In both cases, first-time applicants must also pay a $25 processing fee. More details about the application requirements are available here:

http://travel.state.gov/passport/get/first/first_830.html

OTHER OPTIONS

Members of the public may be able to obtain other types of government-issued photo ID. These IDs do not meet the REAL ID requirements, but may be sufficient for other purposes, such as banking transactions. Examples could include library cards or cards issued to certain program participants (e.g., recreation programs). Additionally, certain populations, such as students or public employees, often obtain a photo ID from their school or employer, respectively.

CTTransit Card

CTTransit offers reduced fares for senior citizens and individuals with a disability and issues photo ID cards to such passengers. (They may also use a Medicare card if they have one.) To obtain a card, individuals with a disability must submit a physician-certified application, while senior citizens must have their age verified by a notary public. In both cases, applicants must submit a recent photo with the application. A new CTTransit ID card costs $5, and a replacement card costs $10.

The application for a CTTransit ID card is available here:

http://www.cttransit.com/seniordisabled/application.asp

Municipal IDs

Besides the program-specific IDs described above, municipalities could offer municipal ID cards to their residents, but it appears that New Haven is the only Connecticut municipality to do this. (Nationally, other cities that do this include San Francisco and Washington, DC.)

New Haven began issuing the Elm City card in 2007. Applicants must prove both their identity and their residency in the city in order to obtain a card, which costs $11 for adults and $6 for children 16 and younger.

The application form is available here:

http://www.cityofnewhaven.com/pdf_whatsnew/ApplicationForm.pdf

TA:ro