What are acceptable forms of ID for a Passport Application

When applying for a shiny new passport, you will need to have a valid form of ID to prove to the acceptance clerk that you are who say you are. But what constitutes as a valid form of ID? What would happen if you do not have a driver’s license or you might have one but it’s recently been issued.

Here is a comprehensive article to help prove your identity when applying for a passport.

Acceptable Forms of PRIMARY ID:
Sample Drivers License

  • State Driver’s License, valid for at least 6 months
  • Federal, State of Municipal identification card with photo
  • INS Alien Registration Card (Green Card)

If you have one of these valid ID forms, you’re good to go! (Make sure you make copies first!)

But what happens if my driver’s license or ID was issued less than 6 months ago?

  • If you have a Primary ID issued within the last 6 months, you can submit at least 1 PRIMARY with 5 SECONDARY items (listed below).
  • If no primary ID is available, you must submit 7 SECONDARY ID’s to validate identity

Primary Forms of ID

  • Driver’s License (valid, expired or suspended)
  • Current Government ID Card with photo (Federal, State or Municipal)
  • Military ID with Photo
  • Undamaged Passport with photo (expired, foreign, or US)
  • Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship

Secondary Forms of ID


    yearbook photo

  • Student identification card with photo (expired ok)
  • Copy of School Yearbook page with photograph with name
  • School transcript
  • High School Diploma
  • Trade School Diploma
  • College School Diploma
  • Technical School Certificate


  • Military Records (DD214) / Honorable Discharge Certificate
  • Selective Service Registration / Classification

Professional Services:

  • Union Membership
  • Professional License (Nurse, Beautician, Mechanic, etc.)
  • Pilot’s License with photo


  • Medicare or Health Insurance Cards
  • Medical Records
  • Welfare Card
  • Insurance Cards
  • Insurance Records
  • Birth Certificates of children listing your name as parent


  • Voter’s Registration Card
  • Income Tax Records and/or W-2 Forms over 1 year
  • Pay Stubs and/or Banking Statements over 1 year

Financial and/or Personal:

    utility bill

  • Marriage Certificates and Licenses
  • Divorce Decree
  • Credit Cards (For privacy, you will redact the numbers of your credit card on the copies)
  • Auto Insurance
  • Utility Bills over 1 year
  • Baptismal Certificate
  • Leasing/Mortgage
  • Vehicle Registration or Title
  • Newspaper Articles or Publicity Features about you
  • Employment Identification Card with Photo
***Additionally, in rare cases, you may use a person who has known the applicant for at least 2 years, is a US citizen or permanent resident and has a valid ID, that can vouch for the applicant. They will have to accompany the applicant to the acceptance facility and complete a DS-71 form in front of the acceptance clerk, while validating their valid ID. The applicant must also provide the other secondary forms of ID while the clerk is approving.

If you are presenting Secondary Identification, you must provide a photocopy of the front and back of each document being presented with your application.

  • If you submit out-of-state primary identification, you must provide a photocopy of your primary identification document and the second ID to be presented with your application.  Both sides of all identification documents must be photocopied according to the photocopy requirements above.  If a credit card is presented as your second ID, you may redact the cards numbers.
  • An assistant to a disable applicant who witnesses the signature or signs on the disabled applicant’s behalf must present a photocopy of his or her ID
  • A person acting as an Identifying Witness must present a photocopy of his or her ID
*** When using a 3rd party expediting service (like Expedited Passports & Visas), make sure you send copies of these backup ID’s with your application even if the acceptance agent says they are not required and make sure the photocopies are clear.

**** Remember when sealing your documents, the verification of ID resides with the Passport Acceptance Clerk.

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