What Age Can You Get An Id In Texas? Requirements For Minors And Adults

Having a valid government-issued ID is essential for everything from driving to applying for jobs, accessing age-restricted venues, and more. In Texas, residents wonder – at what age can you obtain an official state identification card?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: In Texas, you can get an ID card at any age. Minors under 18 will get a free election identification certificate. At 18, Texas residents can apply for driver licenses and state ID cards.

This comprehensive guide will cover the ID application process for minors and adults in Texas. We’ll outline eligibility requirements, approved documents, costs, how to apply in-person and online, renewal rules, and using an ID as a valid form of identification.

Texas ID Cards and Requirements for Minors

Election Identification Certificate for Ages 0-17

In Texas, minors aged 0-17 are eligible to obtain an Election Identification Certificate (EIC) as a form of identification. The EIC serves as an alternative to a traditional ID card or driver’s license and can be used for identification purposes, such as voting in elections.

To obtain an EIC, minors must meet certain requirements set by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). These requirements include proof of identity and citizenship, such as a birth certificate or passport, and proof of residency in Texas.

Minors may also need to provide additional documentation, depending on their specific circumstances.

Application Process and Approved Documents

The application process for an EIC involves visiting a DPS office and submitting the required documents. Minors will also need to provide a completed application form, which can be obtained from the DPS website or in person at a DPS office.

It is important to note that a parent or legal guardian must be present during the application process.

Approved documents for the EIC application include a certified copy of the minor’s birth certificate, a valid passport, or other acceptable proofs of citizenship. Proof of residency can be demonstrated through documents such as utility bills, rental agreements, or school records.

It is recommended to review the official DPS website for a comprehensive list of approved documents.

ID Cards vs. Driver Licenses for Minors

Minors in Texas have the option to obtain either an ID card or a driver’s license, depending on their age and driving privileges. Minors aged 14-17 can apply for a driver’s license, which allows them to operate a motor vehicle with certain restrictions.

However, if they do not plan to drive, they can still obtain an ID card for identification purposes.

It is worth noting that the requirements for obtaining an ID card for minors are generally less stringent compared to those for a driver’s license. Minors applying for an ID card will still need to provide proof of identity and residency, but they do not need to pass a written or driving test as required for a driver’s license.

For more information on the specific requirements and application process for ID cards and driver’s licenses for minors in Texas, it is recommended to visit the official website of the Texas Department of Public Safety at https://www.dps.texas.gov.

Applying for a Texas ID Card or License at Age 18

State ID Cards and Driver Licenses

In Texas, residents can apply for a state ID card or driver’s license when they turn 18 years old. Both options serve as official government-issued photo ID and proof of identity and Texas residency. The difference is that driver’s licenses also allow you to legally operate a motor vehicle, while state ID cards are just for identification purposes.

Required Documents for Application

To apply for a Texas ID at age 18, you’ll need to provide certain documents to verify your identity, citizenship status, Texas residency, and Social Security number. Required documents include:

  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful presence, such as a certified birth certificate or U.S. passport
  • Proof of Texas residency, like a utility bill or lease agreement
  • Your Social Security card
  • Additional identification like a school ID or health insurance card

If applying for a driver’s license, you’ll also need to pass required tests and provide proof of adequate insurance coverage.

Fees and Payment Information

The fees to apply for an original ID in Texas at age 18 are:

  • State ID card: $16
  • Driver’s license: $25

These fees can be paid at the time of application by cash, personal check, or credit/debit card. There may be additional charges for replacement cards.

How to Apply In-Person vs. Online

There are two main ways 18-year-olds can apply for Texas ID cards or licenses:

In-Person Online
Visit your local TX DPS office; bring required docs Complete application on the TX DPS website
Get photo taken; pass vision screening Upload required identity/residency documents
Pay fees; get printed ID card or license Pay fees; card will be mailed in 1-2 weeks

Applying in person allows you to get your ID the same day, while online may be more convenient. Either way, Texas residents can easily apply for a new ID online or in-person once they turn 18.

Renewing, Replacing, and Updating Texas ID Cards

ID Expiration and Renewal Rules

Like most states, Texas requires ID cards to be renewed periodically. The expiration date of the ID card can be found on the front of the card, usually near the bottom. It is important to renew your ID card before it expires, as an expired ID may not be accepted as a valid form of identification in certain situations.

The renewal process typically involves filling out an application, providing proof of identity and residency, and paying a fee. The specific requirements may vary depending on the type of ID card you have.

For more information on the renewal process, you can visit the Texas Department of Public Safety website.

Replacement Fees for Lost/Stolen IDs

If your Texas ID card is lost or stolen, it is important to replace it as soon as possible. Not only is an ID card a valuable form of identification, but it may also be required for various everyday activities such as opening a bank account or boarding a plane.

The fee for replacing a lost or stolen ID card in Texas is typically around $11. However, this fee may vary, so it is best to check the Texas Department of Public Safety website for the most up-to-date information.

It is also important to report the loss or theft to local law enforcement to protect yourself from potential identity theft.

Updating Information on ID Cards

If you need to update the information on your Texas ID card, such as your address or name, you will need to apply for a replacement card. The process for updating information is similar to replacing a lost or stolen ID card.

You will need to fill out an application, provide proof of the updated information, and pay any applicable fees. It is important to keep your ID card information up to date to ensure that it remains a valid form of identification.

For more information on updating your ID card, you can visit the Texas Department of Public Safety website.

Acceptable Uses for Texas ID Cards

Having a Texas ID card can be useful in a variety of situations. Whether you are a minor or an adult, having a valid ID card can help you prove your identity, establish residency, and gain access to certain services. Here are some of the acceptable uses for Texas ID cards.

Proof of Identity and Residency

One of the primary uses of a Texas ID card is to prove your identity and establish residency. When applying for a job, opening a bank account, or completing other official transactions, you will often be required to provide proof of who you are and where you live.

A Texas ID card can serve as a valid form of identification for these purposes.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, to obtain a Texas ID card, you must provide documents that verify your identity, such as a certified birth certificate, a valid passport, or a social security card.

You will also need to provide proof of residency, such as a utility bill or bank statement with your name and current address.

Air Travel and Other Transportation

Another important use for a Texas ID card is for air travel and other forms of transportation. While a Texas ID card is not a valid form of identification for international travel, it can be used for domestic flights within the United States.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) accepts Texas ID cards as an acceptable form of identification for passengers 18 years and older.

Having a Texas ID card can also come in handy when using other forms of transportation, such as buses, trains, or rental cars. Many transportation companies require passengers to present a valid ID card before boarding or renting a vehicle.

Age Restrictions for Tobacco, Alcohol, Driving

A Texas ID card can also help establish your age in situations where age restrictions apply. For example, if you are a minor, having a Texas ID card can help prove that you are old enough to purchase certain items, such as tobacco products or alcohol, in accordance with Texas state laws.

Additionally, a Texas ID card is an essential requirement for obtaining a driver’s license. In Texas, individuals must be at least 16 years old to obtain a driver’s license, and having a Texas ID card is often the first step in the process.

This ID card can help establish your identity and age when applying for a driver’s license.

It’s important to note that while a Texas ID card can be used to establish age and identity, it should not be used as a substitute for a driver’s license when operating a motor vehicle.

For more information on acceptable uses for Texas ID cards, you can visit the official website of the Texas Department of Public Safety at https://www.dps.texas.gov/.

New Texas ID Card Design and Security Features

Compliance with REAL ID Standards

In an effort to enhance security and combat identity theft, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has introduced a new design for ID cards that comply with the federal REAL ID Act. This act sets minimum security standards for state-issued identification cards, ensuring that they are more difficult to forge or tamper with.

The new Texas ID cards feature a range of security elements that meet the REAL ID requirements, providing greater assurance of the cardholder’s identity. These enhanced security measures contribute to the overall safety and integrity of the identification process.

Updated Card Design and Information

The redesigned Texas ID cards have a fresh and modern look, making them easily distinguishable from previous versions. The card now incorporates updated graphics and typography, providing a more aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly design.

In addition to the visual changes, the new ID cards also include updated information fields. These fields have been revised to reflect the latest information required for identification purposes, ensuring that the cards remain relevant and up-to-date.

The inclusion of updated information fields allows for more accurate identification verification, reducing the chances of errors or discrepancies in the identification process. This ensures a smoother and more efficient experience for both the cardholder and the verifying authorities.

Security Elements to Prevent Fraud

The new Texas ID cards incorporate several security elements that are designed to prevent fraud and unauthorized use. These elements include holographic overlays, unique serial numbers, and tamper-evident features.

The holographic overlays provide an added layer of security by making the ID cards difficult to replicate. These overlays often include intricate designs or patterns that are not easily duplicated, serving as a visual indicator of authenticity.

The unique serial numbers assigned to each ID card allow for easy tracking and identification, making it easier to detect and investigate cases of fraud or misuse.

Furthermore, the tamper-evident features on the new ID cards make it apparent if someone has attempted to alter or tamper with the card. These features can include special inks or patterns that show visible signs of tampering when scratched or manipulated.


Acquiring an official Texas ID card or driver license signals an important milestone and provides access to many rights and privileges. While minors can obtain free ID cards, the most significant ID eligibility begins at 18 years old for residents.

With a valid in-state ID, Texans can take advantage of countless opportunities as they apply to state colleges, start new jobs, register to vote, and more. Staying up to date on the latest application policies will ensure seamless ID approval.

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