Every application for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) must have both the official application forms and supporting evidence to back your case. One of the most important pieces of evidence you must submit with your application is a proof of identity document (ID). U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) processes DACA applications, and they have requirements for what ID you can submit with your new DACA or DACA renewal application. This article explains what an acceptable ID is for DACA and how to get one for your application.
What is an acceptable ID for my DACA application?
Some of the acceptable documents that you could submit to prove your identity as part of the supporting documents for your DACA application include:
- Birth certificate with photo identification
- Foreign passport or national ID from your country of origin
- School ID with photo
- U.S. military ID with photo
- Any U.S. government immigration document with your name and photo on it
- Photo identification card issued by a local government agency like a state ID card
- Learner permit
- Non-driver ID
Acceptable identification documents should have your photo and full legal name. Try to use a valid photo ID if possible, such as an unexpired foreign passport.
It is okay if your ID is expired. However, focus on making sure your ID is recent enough that you are identifiable. For example, you don’t want to use a photo ID at age ten if you are now thirty. You very likely look much different at age thirty than you did at age ten.
How do I get an acceptable ID for my DACA application?
If you don’t have an acceptable ID for your DACA application, there are still multiple options for you to get one.
Apply for a passport from your country of origin
To obtain a DACA acceptable ID, you could apply for a passport card from your country of origin. Most first-time applicants can get a passport through the embassy or consulate of their country of birth. Generally, you will have to provide documentation proving your ties to the home country and possibly pay a fee. The documentation could include a birth certificate and photo. However, every embassy has its own rules. Contact yours to find out what you’ll need.
Apply for a "real ID" from your local DMV
If you are a DACA renewal applicant looking for an acceptable ID, you can receive a REAL ID driver’s license or identification card. You can get this ID card even if you aren’t a U.S. citizen with a social security number (SSN) or social security card issued by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Each state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has its own set of requirements. However, you generally must present evidence to prove your current legal presence. For example, as someone in DACA status, these documents would qualify:
- Unexpired Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
- Form I-797 approval notice for your current DACA
You will also likely have to prove state residency. Documents that indicate your first and last name, as well as your in-state address, could qualify, including:
- Utility bill
- Vehicle registration
- Property tax statement
- Voter registration card
- Record from institutions that issue credit cards
- School documents indicating date of birth
- Insurance policy, insurance card, or insurance bill
Suppose you don’t have any residency documents with your name. You can show a birth certificate, marriage certificate, or any other document indicating your relationship to somebody with a residency document. However, suppose your residency document presents a different name (due to a name change, divorce decree, or court order). In that case, you may have to show additional evidence of the name change.
Getting your acceptable ID card and supporting documents for your DACA application can be complicated, but working with a good immigration attorney can make it easier. If you can't afford the attorney fees and don't want to handle your DACA application case alone, we may be able to help. If you are eligible, our free web app will walk you through the process and help you prepare and file your application with the U.S. government. Click "Get Started" to see how we can help make your American dream come true!