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How to Obtain ID Cards in North Carolina

Residents may obtain a North Carolina ID card in person at a local Driver License Office with the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (NCDMV) which operates under the state Department of Transportation (NCDOT). Applicants cannot get identification cards online if they are completing an ID card application for the first time. Several types of DMV ID card credentials are available at no charge. These no-charge NC ID cards are available to voters, citizens with developmental disabilities and applicants who are older than 70 years of age. For additional ID card information, review the information below.

North Carolina ID Card Eligibility Requirements

Residents may obtain an ID card in North Carolina if they need a form of photo identification but do not wish to apply for a driving license. To apply for ID card credentials, residents must be able to submit proof of their name and date of birth, residential address, and evidence of their Social Security Number or documentation to indicate their legal presence in the U.S. However, new ID card eligibility requirements vary depending on the specific type of non-driver identification card motorists wish to obtain. For additional ID card information, review the sections below.

Standard DMV ID Cards

To obtain a North Carolina DMV ID card, applicants cannot hold a driving license. Additionally, ID card applicants must provide the NCDMV with the following documentation:

  • Two proofs of age and identity (containing the applicant’s full name and date of birth)
  • Proof of a Social Security Number (such as a Social Security card, DD-214, W-2 or 1099 form)
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship status and North Carolina residency

Before obtaining a new identification card in NC, it is important to remember that an ID credential does not grant residents permission to operate a motor vehicle. For this reason, DMV identification cards are also known as non-operator ID cards under the NCDMV.

No-Fee DMV ID Cards

To obtain a general ID card, applicants must pay a standard application fee. However, several types of no-fee identification cards are available to eligible applicants. These NCDMV ID cards include general no-fee cards or credentials for voters, citizens with developmental disabilities and homeless residents. However, specific identification card eligibility requirements vary depending on the type of no-fee credential applicants wish to obtain.

To complete a DMV ID card application for obtaining a general no-fee credential, residents must be at least 70 years of age, homeless or legally blind. Alternately, no-fee ID card applicants may have previously held a driver license if the NCDMV cancelled their driving privileges due to a mental or physical disability or disease. Furthermore, North Carolina ID card applicants may obtain a no-fee credential if they have a developmental disability and can provide the NCDMV with a certifying letter from their diagnosing physician. If residents wish to obtain a no-fee voter identification card, they must be registered to vote in the state of North Carolina.

North Carolina ID Card Application Methods

To apply for ID card credentials, residents must visit a local Driver License Office to complete the application process in person. Citizens cannot apply for an ID card online in NC if they are obtaining an identification credential for the first time. After applying for an ID card, citizens will receive their non-driving credential in the mail within 10 days.

As part of the North Carolina DMV identification card application process, residents must submit the following documents:

  • Proof of age, identity and North Carolina residency
  • Proof of a Social Security Number (or evidence of legal presence in the U.S.)
  • Payment for obtaining a general ID card through the NCDMV
  • An Application for Identification Card (DL-232) – if obtaining a no-fee DMV ID card due to a developmental disability (a primary care provider must complete the Physician’s Section of the application) and a Special Conditions Service Homebound Customer Request (NGSDLS-005), if applicable
  • A letter from a homeless shelter – if applying for a no-fee identification card in NC as a homeless citizen
  • A signed declaration indicating that the applicant does not have an acceptable photo ID card – if obtaining a no-fee voter credential

In most cases, citizens must submit NC ID card applications in person at a Driver License Office. However, homebound residents may apply for an ID card by mail if they have a severe disability and cannot appear in person at an NCDMV branch. To obtain a no-fee DMV ID card by mail, citizens must complete a Special Conditions Service Homebound Customer Request (NGSDLS-005) and mail it to the following address along with proof of age and identity, Social Security, U.S. citizenship status and state residency.

Issuance Resolution Unit

3176 Mail Service Center

Raleigh, NC 27697-3176

How to Renew ID Cards in North Carolina

Residents must renew a North Carolina ID card in person at a Driver License Office, as they cannot apply to renew ID card online through the NCDMV. When renewing an ID card in person, residents must provide the NCDMV with their current identification cardor proof of identity if they lose their current credential. Additionally, applicants who wish to renew ID card credentials must submit proof of their Social Security Number and payment for the DMV identification card renewal fee.

Note: In most cases, the NCDMV mails citizens an ID card renewal notice before an identification credential is set to expire.

How to Replace ID Cards in North Carolina

Residents must replace a lost ID card after it goes missing or is stolen. Additionally, residents must replace an ID card if it sustains damages or becomes illegible. Furthermore, applicants must obtain a new ID card if they change their legal name or mailing address. If replacing an identification card that is missing or may have been stolen, or if applicants need to update their address, they may replace a lost ID card online through the NCDMV website by entering their identification card number or last name, Social Security Number and date of birth into the system. If replacing a NCDMV ID card after performing a name change, citizens must visit a local Driver License Office to submit their request in person. When obtaining a new identification card after performing a name change, applicants must submit their change of name document, such as a certificate marriage certificate or divorce decree.

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