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Acceptable Primary and Secondary Identification

Acceptable primary proof of identity includes, but is not limited to, original or certified documents with full name and date of birth, such as the items listed below.

Please Note: All documents are subject to verification with the issuing agency or source. Documents subject to verification may delay the issuance of your permit, driver license, identification only license, temporary driver license or temporary identification license.

No photocopies will be accepted!

Resources for Obtaining Necessary Documents for Identity

Primary Identification

All documents must have full name and date of birth

U.S. photo driver license or photo ID card, License from another country

  • May also include photo learner permits.
  • U.S. Department of State Driver’s License also acceptable.

Original or Certified Birth Certificate

  • Must be original or certified, have an official seal and be issued by an authorized government agency such as the Bureau of Vital Statistics or State Board of Health.
    IMPORTANT: Puerto Rican birth certificates issued before July 1, 2010 will not be recognized as a form of primary or secondary identification beginning November 1, 2010.
    The government of Puerto Rico has provided information for citizens to apply for new birth certificates.
  • Foreign birth certificates, not issued in English, must be translated and accompanied by a Certificate of Accurate Translation.

NOTE:  Hospital issued certificates (mother’s copy) are not acceptable.

Military Identification

  • Active Duty, Retiree or Reservist military ID card  (DD Form 2 or 2A)
  • Discharge papers  (DD-214)
  • Military Dependent ID card (for spouse or children of Active Duty Military personnel)

Valid, Unexpired United States Passport

Valid, Unexpired Foreign Passport

  • Foreign passports must contain a Valid United States Visa or I-94 to be used as a primary proof of indentification.
  • Foreign passports, not issued in English, must be translated and accompanied by a Certificate of Accurate Translation. Passports are not acceptable if expired.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Service Documentation

  • Certificate of Naturalization N-550, N-570, N-578
  • Certificate of Citizenship N-560, N-561, N-645
  • Employment Authorization card (I-766)
  • Northern Mariana Card
  • American Department of Indian Affairs Tribal Card
  • U.S. Citizen Identification Card (I-179, I-197)
  • Temporary Resident Identification Card (I-688)
  • Travel Documents Record of Arrival and Departure (I-94)
  • Border Crossing Identification  (I-586)
  • Nonimmigrant Visa/Border Crossing Card (DSP-150)
  • U.S. Re-entry Permit (I-327)
  • Refugee I-94 Record of Arrival and Departure stamped "Refugee”
  • Refugee Travel Document (I-571)
  • Canadian Immigration Record and Visa or Record of Landing (IMM 100)
  • Canadian Department of Indian Affairs issued ID card.

Marriage License/Certificate

  • Must include the applicant's full name and date of birth. The certificate must be the original or certified copy that is registered AFTER the marriage; NOT just the "license"authorizing the union.

Federal Census Record

  • Must include the applicant's full name and date of birth (age).

Applicant's Own Child's Birth Certificate

  • Must include the applicant's (i.e parent’s) full name and date of birth not just “age” of parent at the time of the child’s birth.

Adoptive Decree

  •  Must include the applicant's full name and date of birth.

Legal Change of Name (Divorce, etc.)

  • As recorded in court decree with judge’s original signature and/or official court seal.

NOTE:  Copy of court document with copied seal/signature is not acceptable. Copy of court document with an original signature/seal that is affixed to copy is acceptable.

Any confirmation of date of birth in court of law

  • As recorded in court document(s) with judge's original signature and/or official court seal.

NOTE:  Copy of court document with copied seal/signature is not acceptable. Copy of court document with an original signature/seal that is affixed to copy is acceptable.

Any other documentary evidence which confirms to the satisfaction of the Department the true identity and date of birth of the applicant.

Secondary Identification

Computerized Check Stubs

  • Must include the applicant's full name pre-printed on the stub.

Union Membership Cards

  • Must include the applicant's full name preferably with photo and/or Social Security number.

Work IDs

  • Preferably with photo and/or Social Security number.

Financial Institution Documents

  • Computer printouts of bank statements, savings account statements, loan documents, etc.

Social Security Documents

  • Social Security Card (original only not metal or plastic replicas)
  • Printout or benefits statements, etc.
  • Social Security Check or Direct Deposit Verification of Social Security Check

Health Insurance Card

  • TennCare, Medicaid, Medicare, etc.
  • Health Insurance Card
  • Insurance Policies or Payment statements

IRS/state tax form

  • W2 Forms, Property tax receipts, etc.

Military Records

  • Assignment orders, selective service cards, Leave & Earnings Statement, etc.
  • United States or Foreign

School Records

  • Transcript of grades
  • Elementary Immunization or "Shot" Records
  • Diploma or G.E.D.

Vehicle Documents

  • Vehicle Registration or title
  • Bill of Sale or purchase contract

Resources for Obtaining Necessary Documents for Identity

For information about birth documentation or proof of name change from another state, visit: National Center for Health Statistics.

For information about passports, visit: http://travel.state.gov/passport/.

For information or to request a certified copy of a birth certificate or marriage certificate for a birth or marriage that took place in Tennessee visit: Tennessee Department of Health Office of Vital Records

For information or to request a certified copy of a birth certificate or marriage certificate from another state or a US Territory or possession, visit: National Center for Health Statistics.

The Government of Puerto Rico's information for citizens to apply for a new birth certificate.

For Social Security information, contact the Social Security Administration.

To contact the US Citizenship and Immigration Services Bureau of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), call:

  • National Customer Service Center (800) 375-5283; or 
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad (202) 955-0307.

PLEASE NOTE: These telephone numbers and outside links are subject to change without notice.