Do I Need an ID for My Elderly Father?


Your dad is ill and no longer drives so you assume that he doesn’t need to renew his driver’s license. That may be true, but you may want to make sure that he still has some form of identification. There may be several reasons why you will want your parent to have a valid ID.

Identification is required just about everywhere you go these days. It will be required at the airport, and although you may think it unlikely that your parent will travel anywhere again, you just never know. Your mom or dad may need to show an identification card at the bank, or in a store when making a purchase with a credit card. It may be required at a hospital or doctor’s office or when picking up a prescription at your local pharmacy. Having a valid ID can also help protect a senior against identity fraud.

Your local DMV or state motor vehicle agency is usually the place to go to obtain a state identification card. You may need to provide your social security number, proof of your birthday and residency, have your photo taken and pay a small fee.

In the state of Georgia, all licensed drivers are eligible for a Georgia State ID Card if the license is valid, suspended, revoked, cancelled, or expired. The State ID card serves the same identification purpose as a driver’s license without providing any driving privileges. The procedure for applying for a card can be completed by any person of any age if the person is able to provide a legal signature.

To apply for a Georgia State ID card, you will need documents that show proof of:

  • Your identity such as an original or certified birth certificate or U.S. passport

  • Your U.S. citizenship or proof of lawful status in the United States

  • Your residential address such as a utility or phone bill (two documents required)

  • Your full social security number (e.g. Social Security card, military discharge papers, paystub, etc.)

For more information on documents accepted by the Georgia Department of Driver Services, refer to this checklist. All documents must be in English. In addition to the State ID Card, other types of identification cards are available including a Veteran ID Card, an Honorary Veteran ID Card, Handicap ID, Indigent ID Card, and a Voter ID. The fees vary depending on the type of identification card you apply for.

Another reason for your parent to have an identification card is for peace of mind. Carrying a license in your wallet is something many people do for decades and to no longer have that card, can leave a person feeling a little lost or anxious. Just having the card may provide your dad with a much-needed sense of security.

Do your homework and plan ahead before you visit your DMV to obtain an Identification Card. Gather your documents and make sure you have original or certified copies as photocopies will not be accepted. Your parent may never need their identification card but it’s best to have one just in case!

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