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State ID/Passport Catch 22. Complicating factor: DUI
March 28, 2014 8:54 AM   Subscribe

My boyfriend needs a passport and a state ID. This is in Louisiana. Due to a recent DUI he does not have in his possession a valid (unexpired) LA driver's license. What we have are his original birth certificate, expired Tennessee license, photocopy of valid LA license (with documentation of why he doesn't have the actual card), and current photo student ID, but it's complicated.

The State Department website says you can use an expired driver's license and a photo student ID in combination for photo identification. But the woman on the phone at the passport center insisted that a valid driver's licence will be necessary. Also I'm concerned that the expired license should be from the state that you're trying to get the passport in, and they won't accept a TN licence. His lawyer is saying basically "this is your problem to sort out, we don't help with this" which I suppose is true. Or is it? Would a different lawyer help? I feel like we're running around in circles because having no current valid ID is making it impossible to get one. He doesn't need the passport until July so as of now it's not time sensitive, but the sooner the better. Are we going about this backwards? Does anyone have any experience with this kind of thing? Suggestions?
posted by CheeseLouise to Law & Government (10 answers total)
 
Also I'm concerned that the expired license should be from the state that you're trying to get the passport in

For what it's worth, I got my first passport in NY state and I had a Maryland drivers license. There's no correlation between where you apply for the passport and where your license is from - otherwise tons of college kids wouldn't be able to go on that first backpacking trip to Europe or whatever.
posted by joan_holloway at 9:00 AM on March 28 [2 favorites]


He should try to get a valid nondriver ID from Louisiana.
posted by the young rope-rider at 9:01 AM on March 28 [4 favorites]


Does he specifically have to have a driver's license? Couldn't he just get a state ID card?
posted by vignettist at 9:03 AM on March 28 [2 favorites]


You definitely DO NOT need a driver's license to get a passport. You do need a state ID. They are issued through most state's DMV/MVD offices. Here's information about getting one in Tennessee, here's the information for getting one in Louisiana. Needing the passport in July - this is sort of time sensitive. I would work on getting the state ID ASAP. It'll be a lot easier than trying to use the driver's license.
posted by stoneweaver at 9:03 AM on March 28 [2 favorites]


If a valid driver's license were required, then an awful lot of the residents of NYC wouldn't be able to get passports. He needs valid, state-issued ID.
posted by rtha at 9:10 AM on March 28 [2 favorites]


Because you need this relatively quickly and because it's slightly wonky, it may make sense to do a road trip to a Passport Agency in person.

Bring everything you can think of, and I would work on getting an LA State ID.

I find that it it well worth it to do business with an actual human.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:13 AM on March 28 [1 favorite]


You could always try at the post office if the passport center is being inflexible.
posted by Dragonness at 9:15 AM on March 28 [1 favorite]


Thank you all so much. I didn't realize that the State ID only required a birth certificate, I thought it required a valid photo ID of some other kind. I knew you all would come through! We've been so frantic over this. I really appreciate the help.
posted by CheeseLouise at 9:18 AM on March 28 [1 favorite]


Be advised, some states, like Florida, may automatically cancel your driver's license (no matter the status) if you get a state ID and vice versa. Found this out the hard way. Of course after they canceled one of mine and issued the other, the new card WAS NOT REAL ID compliant, so if I get in any kind of legal trouble I believe I'm on my own to prove I'm really really me.
posted by tilde at 12:20 PM on March 28 [1 favorite]


Just in case anyone is curious, he got the state ID the Monday after I posted the question and the passport arrived today. Thanks again!
posted by CheeseLouise at 10:45 AM on April 25 [3 favorites]


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