How to Apply for a Texas Identification Card

September 29, 2020


The Department issues identification cards that are valid for up to six years to Texas residents. To apply for an ID card, you will need to provide proof of the following:

  1. U.S. Citizenship or, if you are not a U.S. Citizen, evidence of lawful presence,
  2. Texas Residency
  3. Identity, and
  4. Social Security Number*.

You may use our interactive REAL ID Document Check Application to assist in preparing you for your Driver License Office Visit. Just follow the steps, and at the end, you will have a customized checklist of the documents to bring for your visit.

*You will need to provide your Social Security Number (SSN). It will be verified electronically with the U.S. government. If it cannot be verified, your driver license cannot be issued or renewed. Learn more about this process at our Social Security Number website.

Once you have gathered the necessary documents, you will need to do the following:

  1. Complete the identification card application before arriving at your local office (This form is also available at all driver license offices).
  2. Make an appointment at a driver license office.
  3. Provide the following documentation to the license and permit specialist:
    1. Application for the issuance of an identification card,
    2. U.S. Citizenship or if you are not a U.S. Citizen, evidence of lawful presence,
    3. Texas Residency, and
    4. Identity.
  4. Provide your signature for your DL or ID.
  5. Provide your thumbprints.
  6. Have your picture taken.
  7. Pay the application fee.

Once your identification card has been issued, you will receive a temporary identification card. Before leaving the driver license office, review the printed information on your temporary identification card for accuracy.  If any of the information is not correct, notify the license and permit specialist. Your new card will arrive in the mail in approximately 4 – 6 weeks. To check the mailing status of your card, visit our mailing status web page.

U.S. Military Veterans

Some disabled veterans may qualify for a fee exemption on their driver license or ID card. More information about this service, including qualification requirements, is available on the Veteran Services page.

Temporary Visitors and Foreign Students

Temporary visitors and foreign students applying for a Texas identification card must meet additional requirements. For more information, visit the U.S. Citizenship or Lawful Presence Requirement page.

Address Confidentiality Program

For information on the Address Confidentiality Program, visit the Address Confidentiality Program page. 

Note: If you hold a driver license, you are no longer eligible to apply for an identification card unless you surrender your driver license at the time of application.