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How Can I Get An ID?

January 14, 2013 by  

Dear Bob,

I need to know what steps a person could take to sue/force the hand of a state government agency that is not allowing me to obtain identification. This has been keeping me from job interviews, working, renewing/applying professional licenses, renting/buying a home, traveling, banking/using credit/investing, regaining my drivers license and entering buildings/locations that require identification. I’ve been suffering through this identity issue for well over two years now. No lawyer has been helpful in telling me where to start. Most lawyers say I have to get arrested without identification first to even have a possible case. Getting arrested is something I’m not willing to do to resolve this problem. I don’t want that to happen. As things are now I can be taken into custody every time a officer asks me for ID. With the way things are headed in our country, I am in a lot of danger due to various legislation passed or sitting in wait to be signed in to law. There are too many laws that affect my ability to function/live my life so I go nowhere these days and do nothing. If I can’t furnish an ID; merely saying who I am and giving my address along with my SSN might not satisfy their expectation of proof of identity every time there is a encounter. This could mean me going to jail every time I’m asked for proof of identification. It’s getting to the point that I really can’t live a normal life.

I could really use some sound advice. The State bar association has not been helpful at all in recommending a lawyer who could help. I have my birth certificate, voter registration card, old expired passport, which I tried to get renewed through the parent sponsor program, and many other forms of proving who I am. I’m an American citizen and both of my parents are still alive. I’ve tried to have my father apply for a new SSN card on my behalf, sending them my certified Birth Certificate that has my father and mother’s names listed, since I have no picture ID to obtain a new SSN card. The SSN office declined the application because they said they need a photo ID which I can’t obtain from the State issuing body because they demand proof of SSN, but I can’t a get new SSN card without a photo ID from a Federal/State issuing body. I have letters from the Social Security Administration and Department of State about why they can’t fulfill my request; they all say I need a photo ID. I have email communications from the State government agency that issues State ID cards.  I have well over seven documents to identify who I am.  

Thank you


Dear Travis,

I am I afraid I cannot help you. However, I will open this up to the readers to see if they have any advice.

Best wishes,


Bob Livingston

is an ultra-conservative American and author of The Bob Livingston Letter™, founded in 1969. Bob has devoted much of his life to research and the quest for truth on a variety of subjects. Bob specializes in health issues such as nutritional supplements and alternatives to drugs, as well as issues of privacy (both personal and financial), asset protection and the preservation of freedom.

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  • Harold Olsen

    The rules some states have in order to get an ID card are a bit ridiculous. I live in Washington state and was 25 before I ever go a driver’s license. Before getting one, I went to the department of licenses to get a Washington state ID card. They told me I needed two pieces of ID in order to get one. If I had two pieces of ID I would not have needed to get a Washington state ID card. I did have my birth certificate with me. I showed it to them and they accepted it. I got my ID card. However, they accepted my birth certificate as being mine, yet I had no proof that it was my birth certificate..

  • dan

    reffugees and the displaced and undocumented have this problem…apply for a World Passport…it worked for Barry Soeterro aka Obama

  • F Mahr

    Get a “fake” ID made with all your correct info on it. Take that to SSI and get your SSN card. Once you get your ssn card go get a real state ID and cut up the “fake”.

  • Johnc

    If you are an American Citizen an American Passport even though expired is still sufficient for photo ID Purposes and according to the State Department you only need to send it in with the appropriate fees go to


    Your Most Recent U.S. Passport:

    It Is undamaged and can be submitted with your application

    Was issued when you were age 16 or older

    Was issued within the last 15 years

    Was issued in your current name or you can legally document your name change

    If No to any of these questions you can not do by mail and must do in person
    and or present Secondary evidence as listed on the website.

    A passport may be used for identification and a new one can be issued as long as it is not over 15 years old and was issued when you were 16 yrs old or older and is undamaged or altered

    Using that once you get it you can apply for a new SS card.

    I find it strange that-as an American citizen you did not keep any kind of Photo ID current even if to only obtain a state issued ID card (ID card with no driving privileges)

    Is there something you are leaving out as an old passport should be sufficient to get a new one and that is accepted everywhere as photo ID

    • Johnc

      One other thought, you mention getting arrested because you have no ID. There is no national ID requirement in the US. A police officer can ask for one but according to US Law you do not have to provide it and can not be arrested for not having one. The only time you can be asked for ID is when or if, you are a suspect of a crime. Just walking on the street and if stopped by a police officer to just check your ID is in fact illegal and against your constitutional rights. There is a procedure for this even some Americans don’t know their rights on this and will submit to this illegal search.

      • JJ Swiontek

        Actually, Johnc, he can be arrested, the paperwork will go to the DA and the DA will let him go. The police arrest people all the time for bogus charges. It is one of their ways to meet their internal monthly quote system for number of arrests per officer. Oh, and if you sue for false arrest, the police will claim immunity. So I understand where he is coming from.

        JJ Swiontek
        Denver, CO

      • http://google gary gerke

        John c, you are right on…There is no law that says we need to carry any ID unless we are operating a motor vehicle or boarding an airplane. Unless you are committing a crime or they suspect you of having committed a crime they cannot even ask for ID. They hate it when you tell them that, however, the Supreme court has upheld our 4th, 5th and 14th amendment rights. Tell them to go pound sand or arrest you…False arrest has been paying off very well lately. Best of luck!

    • Gordon

      Johnc, unfortunately in many locations this situation becomes a “tell it to the judge”. LEOs can arrest whomever and for whatever they please regardless of the law, handcuff you, haul you to jail……. Been there, had to do that.

  • MontanaGrandmom

    Get a Costco card. It will have your picture on it.

    • Elda

      It takes a drivers license to get one.

  • MontanaGrandmom

    Or enroll in a class at your local communtiy college and get a student ID card with your picture on it.

  • Bill

    There is something fishy here and you are not telling us the real story. Any illegal alien can go to the DMV and get an ID

    • Johnc

      I do believe he is leaving something out all he has to do is to go in person with a witness

      From the state department web site:
      An Identifying Witness

      An identifying witness is a person who can swear to your identity. He or she must:

      Be present at the time of application
      Have known you for at least 2 years
      Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
      Have valid ID
      Fill out Form DS-71: Affidavit of Identifying Witness in the presence of a Passport Agent

      NOTE: Form DS-71 is only available at your local Acceptance Facility or a Passport Agency.

      so yes it does sound fishy that he did not research online first what he needed but was able to post online here????

    • steve

      Bill I have to agree with you Sir.

    • Jana

      Yes, I agree. The whole story is fishy. He wasn’t just hatched out of thin air. Where did he go to school? Where is his birth cirtificate? Doesn’t he have any relatives? He is either pulling our leg, or illegal. If he is illegal he has more rights than we do.
      This is a made up story or the guy is running FROM the law.

  • Ben Gardner

    I happen to be legally blind, so have no driver’s license. I do have a passport, but it is severely damaged from my falling in a river in Russia with it. I was running into the same roadblocks as you and ended up crossing the border into Canada and stayed with a friend. It was much easier for me to obtain an Ontario photo ID. I still have my 50-year-old SSN card, birth certificate, and damaged passport if some half-wit cop tries to make a big deal out of my photo ID being from another country. My only other photo ID is also Canadian (CNIB card). Because I am in Phoenix a lot, I know that one of these days Arapaio’s jackboots are going to try to deport me or at least hold me for 6-9 months while they try to sort it out with their limited intelligence.

    • Shorty

      “Arapaio’s jackboots …. with their limited intelligence” — [attack on another poster deleted]

      • Robert

        Hey There Shorty: don’t forget Sheriff Joe’s Green Bollogone, They say it eventually becomes a Decillicious speciality at meal time. But unfortuantely, there will be no Vodka to wash it down.

  • Jamie Brown

    As far as a national or federal law about identification there is most certainly a requirement. Depending on your state because of the variant in immigration laws you must have on your person at any given time depending on what activity you are involved in at that moment such as driving you must have in your possession a current valid drivers license. Did not mean to have a run away sentence there.
    I have been a state law enforcement officer for over 20 years and the laws on identity change every legislative session.
    I do not know where you live or exactly what your trying to do but it just seems like there is a part or two missing.

  • Caroline

    Check with the Legal Services Office of your local university law school. In order for law students to get experience they take on cases under the direction of a faculty member, usually pro bono (free). (Ever see the movie “Legally Blond?” That was one example.) I work in one such university law school which I will not name here, but am sure there are others local to you that also provide such services.

  • Jimmy The Greek

    Texas well give you a Texas Id with your birth certificate However you have to live in the state of texas

  • Jason

    Although the story does sound funny to some, I found myslef in a simialr situation years ago and it is nearly impossibile to rectify. My father knew our state senator who was able to help by calling the drivers license bureau and instructing them to overlook some requirements. Even the person at the bureau commented on the difficulties some face and mentined that I was “lucky” to know someone.

    • Jana

      Jason would you give us a scenario of why you lost any and all identifification? You don’t have to get personal, but how would that happen? Was it stolen from you ie identity theft? What?

      • Jason

        I do have to get personal but I dont mind: I thought I was wanted by the law for being invloved with pot dealers; somthing I did years ago. So I destroyed all forms of ID. After hiring an attorney to look into the matter I was later able to determine that I was no longer under invesitgation.

  • HKaufman

    I had the same problem, i went to the local DMV office,got a state id license just for proof that i was not Hatched from a pitre dish, and took a copy of birth certificate, and got a new SS id card.. I dont think any employers HR dept need to run CBR just to apply for a job, its none of their concern re how one pays bills, one not requesting credit from the company, they do however if your applying for a bonded positions, ex:collections..

    • HKaufman

      Here is an even better way to obtain..A completed one-page application, as well as one original identifying document, such as your driver’s license, passport, or marriage or divorce record. If you were born outside the United States, you may need to show proof of citizenship or lawful alien status. Photocopies not accepted.There is no charge for replacement cards.

  • Robert

    Apply for a USA Passport Document, this is not a USA Visa Document which is a just a Card: This is the book form; that gives you Legal International travel: You will Need nothing More Than a Legal State Issued Birth Certificate from the state you were born in: If your Parent or legal living relatives are Legal born or Naturlized Citizens of this country they’n will have to give statement and proof identivfication of themselves, then of your authintisity, and it will be noterized at the Passport Office be it at Passport issuing office of United States Postal Services Office, If your in Los Angles, CA. 11000 Wilshire Blvd. Would Be An Excllent Place To Get Your USof America Passport!

  • Jamie

    You must be in Fla. Good Luck getting anything done.

  • http://none Howard B.

    If you should get a copy of your birth certificate make sure the seal is raised on the document other wise it will be rejected. My wife had this problem while trying to get a pass port.


    It is NOT required to be in possession of a SSN either…if you do not intend to participate in the Ponzie scheme know as THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT….look it up…read it for yourself.And,NO,you DON’T need one to work…it is more difficult,as MOST employers don’t want to take the chance to get trouble from the FED.S…just file all the right forms and there you go…………….

  • Wily

    Go back to your country of origin and get your ID there! While your doing all that just plunk your ass down and mooch off them! Only thing America owes all moochers (parasites) is a bolongia sandwich and a cup of pee and a one way ticket south!


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