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What can I use as valid ID while I have no valid ID?
June 21, 2010 8:55 AM   Subscribe

I am temporarily without valid ID- what to do?

Putting this on askme because I'm getting conflicting info from everywhere I've googled, so I'm hoping for a definitive answer.

About a month ago, I left my wallet in a cab (stupidly, yes). So I lost my license and everything else. I reported it lost, canceled my cards, etc., but I have no license. I put off going to the dmv for a couple of weeks because....well, because going to the dmv sucks, and I was using my passport for ID. I have now applied for a new license, but it's not going to arrive in the mail for a few weeks (this is NYC).

Yesterday I happen to glance at my passport and I can't believe this, but it's about to expire. This Friday. I suppose it was irresponsible of me not to check sooner, but what are the odds that the thing was set to expire THIS WEEK? And apparently an expired passport is not valid ID, for getting into bars, etc. I'm 32, but I look really young and I get carded frequently.

I have a friend coming in from out of state and he's going to be staying with me for the next couple of weeks, and he's going to want to go out- so I can't just be a hermit till my ID arrives. What the hell do I do? I've checked and it seems there is no way to get a state photo ID immediately- those have to be mailed also and take weeks. I have my birth certificate- will that, plus a passport that's only a few days past its expiration date, get me into bars? This is insanely annoying and I feel like I'm kind of stuck, here.
posted by Dormant Gorilla to Law & Government (18 answers total)
 
Just go out and accept that you might have to try a couple of places. No matter how it might seem to you, I doubt you get carded everywhere. And bring the expired passport. It may not be legally valid ID, but some places will still accept it.
posted by 256 at 8:58 AM on June 21, 2010


And apparently an expired passport is not valid ID, for getting into bars, etc.

Um, I've cashed checks and flown with mine when necessary. Can you bring a secondary piece of ID, like social security card or birth certificate?
posted by availablelight at 8:58 AM on June 21, 2010


what state are you in?

where did you see that an expired passport is not a valid proof of age? not that i know if it is or not, but just wondering.


have you called the state photo id people and asked them?
i mean if you had to start a job or something and they needed proof of age, what would you do then? they should have an answer.
posted by sio42 at 9:00 AM on June 21, 2010


I have now applied for a new license, but it's not going to arrive in the mail for a few weeks (this is NYC).

Don't they issue you with a temporary drivers license immediately?

PLEASE NOTE! - You may be ticketed if you drive without having a valid driver license or permit in your possession. If you need to drive, we recommend that you visit a local DMV office to place your order so you can get a temporary license. You can only get a temporary license at a DMV office.
posted by vacapinta at 9:00 AM on June 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you don't mind paying some cash ($100-300 depending on speed) you can get a new passport in as few as two days to two weeks. Passport expediting companies are what you want to look for.
posted by ChrisHartley at 9:01 AM on June 21, 2010


Did you get a temporary license when you applied for you new license? I've used that for ID before. If nothing else, it could backup your passport. Try to convince them to use the picture from the passport, same name and date on the temp license or birth certificate.
posted by CathyG at 9:02 AM on June 21, 2010


> If you don't mind paying some cash ($100-300 depending on speed) you can get a new passport in as few as two days to two weeks. Passport expediting companies are what you want to look for.

Don't bother with those, especially if you're in NYC where there are actual US Passport offices. Call one, make an appointment, and ask for the expedited turnaround (if you really think you need it). My passport and other documents were accidentally thrown out a few years ago, conveniently less than a week before an application deadline for a travel visa. The US Passport office in my city got me a new one in less than 48 hours, and it was much less than $100.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:03 AM on June 21, 2010


As I said, I'm in NYC. I have a birth certificate, and was told most places wouldn't take it. I've also been told by several bouncers that an expired passport wasn't acceptable. I did call the state photo id people and they confirmed, expired is not valid- that is why I'm asking you guys.
I can't get a temporary license immediately because my previous license was in a different state, so this was not a straight renewal.

Honestly the only thing I was looking to have answered is whether an expired passport + birth certificate should in fact pose no problems, since I've already explored all these other options.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 9:04 AM on June 21, 2010


And I should add that I had documented proof that I needed a replacement passport that quickly. They might not be too sympathetic with you if all you're looking to do is go to bars. They might relegate you to the two week expedited service. But, go and ask.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:05 AM on June 21, 2010


You might have to go door-to-door once or twice to get into a bar where the bouncer doesn't care about the expiration date, but I doubt you'll have a hard time. When I checked IDs at the door (of a shop, however, not a bar) I did not glance at anything but the DOB and the photo. Especially if it expired this week and not a year ago.
posted by griphus at 9:05 AM on June 21, 2010


This may be overly optimistic but I'm in NY as well and I've lost my license several times and I've found that the new one has always come much more quickly than the delivery time frame provided by the DMV (usually within a week, and when I renewed my license last month, I got the new one within a few days). So it may not be as bad as you think.

Assuming the license doesn't come, I would take the expired passport (which some bouncers might not even notice is expired, so certainly don't point it out!), the birth certificate, and any other form of ID, particularly photo (work/student ID? One of those credit cards with your picture on it?). I would also probably avoid bars where college students hang out, as the bouncers there generally have to check everyone's ID. If your friend is also over 30, and you're both polite, combined with a variety of ID back up, I think most bouncers will realize that you're not a 19 year old trying to get in using a fake/expired passport.
posted by Caz721 at 9:06 AM on June 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I did call the state photo id people and they confirmed, expired is not valid.

This is the standard CYA answer. If you're trying to get a job and filling out your employment eligibility verification forms, it's not valid. If you're trying to get into a bar, you're probably fine. Bouncers aren't exactly career bureaucrats and bars not being scrutinized by the DOH would rather get you in on a technicality than keep you out on one.
posted by griphus at 9:08 AM on June 21, 2010


If you've some money, you can get your passport renewed very quickly from a place like A. Briggs (pricing is on the right) which has a NYC office. They have enough clients that they make appointments with the passport office daily no matter what, so there's no wait for them to get in. My wife and I had an emergency trip come up and got ours back within two days, I think.
posted by jwells at 9:09 AM on June 21, 2010


I got by on an expired license in San Francisco for 3 years with pretty much no one even noticing, and certainly no one at a bar/club type place (and this was my early twenties so I always got carded). The only time it caused me any trouble at all was when I was trying to withdraw money from my bank account without my debit card.
posted by logic vs love at 9:09 AM on June 21, 2010


That's what I was hoping to hear. I wouldn't be as worried about this ordinarily- it's the fact that I will be showing a friend around town and will have to put him through this hassle every time we try to go somewhere, so I want to know what I should be expecting to happen.

Burhanistan- yeah, you're completely right- I did try those guys and without proof of immediate travel needs, expedited passport was a no-go.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 9:10 AM on June 21, 2010


And apparently an expired passport is not valid ID, for getting into bars, etc. I'm 32, but I look really young and I get carded frequently.

For reference, my 17 year-old sister successfully used (and lost, but that's another story) my expired Ohio military ID to get into Williamsburg bars. My sister looks like she's 12. I used that ID a year after it had expired all over the city and was turned down exactly once because it wasn't up to date. Bouncers really don't care. Unless you look under way under 21, a passport, expired or not, will be fine.
posted by zoomorphic at 9:21 AM on June 21, 2010


As someone who loses their ID all the goddamn time, might I suggest taking your friend out to place you've been to regularly? They won't card you if they already know you by name.
posted by troublewithwolves at 9:39 AM on June 21, 2010


Bouncers aren't exactly career bureaucrats and bars not being scrutinized by the DOH would rather get you in on a technicality than keep you out on one.

I can only offer my own counterpoint, but when I was bouncing/bartending we had one common refrain: your two or three drinks are not enough money to justify risking our liquor license over. We absolutely would keep you out on a technicality.

If I asked you for ID and it was expired then I turned you away. Not because I thought it meant you were full of it, but because the law in Florida was (and I assume still is) that an expired ID is not valid identification for proof of age. The law in NY seems to be the same. The reality of the law is that it doesn't matter if you ARE of legal age, your inability to PROVE it and my accepting that lack of proof is a violation.

My point merely being that a bouncer who knows that the expiration date matters probably knows WHY it matters and is unlikely to fold on that issue.
posted by phearlez at 10:03 AM on June 21, 2010


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