How do I get a new picture ID when I don't have a current one to validate that I'm me?
July 2, 2010 1:46 PM   Subscribe

I've maybe lost my passport, the last form of picture ID that I have. Will this greatly impede getting a new one? How long would this mess usually take to get sorted out? I'm in New York City. (more inside)

I lost my driver's license years ago and have been using my passport ever since. Now I can't find the passport and I'm freaking out. How screwed am I if I need to get a new picture ID when I don't have another one to back me up? I have my birth certificate, SSN card, proof of address, and so forth. I've read this link, and the replacement steps seem easy enough, but surely one must present another form of picture ID when applying for the new passport in person?

My main concern is that I have a prescription that I need to fill out, and I need a valid ID to present it to the pharmacist. Waiting a week or two isn't a big deal, but the prescription expires in 30 days and it's an enormous pain to get a new one.

What steps do I take to make this less like the clusterfuck I'm already imagining?
posted by Hwaet to Law & Government (18 answers total)
This is really easily available online, but here you go:
scroll down to... "If you cannot submit primary identification, please see Secondary Identification."
Which brings you to:

If you cannot present primary identification, you must submit as much secondary identification as possible.

A Combination of Identifying Documents

Present a combination of documents that can be used to verify your personal identity. These documents are not acceptable as secondary identification when presented alone.

Example: Social Security Card + Credit Card + Employee ID + Library Card

An Identifying Witness

An identifying witness is a person who can swear to your identity. He or she must:

Be present at the time of application
Have known you for at least 2 years
Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
Have valid ID
Fill out Form DS-71: Affidavit of Identifying Witness in the presence of a Passport Agent
NOTE: Form DS-71 is only available at your local Acceptance Facility or a Passport Agency.
posted by brainmouse at 1:55 PM on July 2, 2010

Last I checked, if your passport is lost, they give you a temporary one, but if it it destroyed, such as dropped into the incinerator, you get a regular one.
posted by StickyCarpet at 1:59 PM on July 2, 2010

(also, for the record, I have never been required to show ID at the pharmacy, this seems like a quirk of your individual pharmacy. Perhaps transfer your prescription to a different pharmacy and see if they can fill it without ID?)
posted by brainmouse at 2:01 PM on July 2, 2010

You say lost your driver's license. Do you mean you lost the physical card or the ability to own a drivers license? Many states will allow you to renew your driver's license online, and they'll send you a new one (old photo and info) in the mail.

Why go for a new passport? Yes that will take much longer. What you want is a Non-Driver State ID card. They exist exactly for people who want a state ID card but don't want/cannot drive. You should be able to get it with just SSN card and US birth certificate. Probably on the same day.
posted by fontophilic at 2:06 PM on July 2, 2010

Brainmouse, IDs are required for narcotics.
posted by fontophilic at 2:07 PM on July 2, 2010

It may be faster to get a NYS ID or driver license than to get replacement passport since you're not going anywhere soon. That has its own hurdles to overcome, but one thing in your favor is the state has your photo from your last license for reference.

It is weird your pharmacist requires an ID to pick up medicine. The only time I'm required to show ID is if I'm buying Sudafed to keep me from buying quantities suitable for setting up my own meth lab. One thing I remember distinctly is being at a Walgreens in Austin during the peak of Cedar Fever season and the lady in front of me wanting to buy full strength Claritin but the pharmacist wouldn't accept her passport as ID. At the time, the Texas law clearly said "state or military ID" was required to buy psuedoephedrine products. This was before the federal law whcih does allow for passports to be used. I found it completely stupid that they wouldn't take a passport but then again, many laws are stupid.
posted by birdherder at 2:13 PM on July 2, 2010

Brainmouse, IDs are required for narcotics.

ah, I was unaware. Thanks fontophilic.
posted by brainmouse at 2:27 PM on July 2, 2010

Since you're in NYC, you can make a visit to the New York Passport Agency. Someone there may be able to help you. Check out this article from the Times several days ago.
posted by HotPatatta at 2:37 PM on July 2, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks for the info. Looks like I'll be hauling a witness to the post office soon.

To clarify, my prescription is for Ritalin (its absence in my life is most likely the reason I lost the stupid passport in the first place) and I do believe that most pharmacies in NYC require photo ID to get the pills. New York state is incredibly strict about such drugs, requiring new prescriptions and barring refills. My doctor is kind enough to write me a new Rx in between visits, but yes, I'd like to get a valid ID to present before the Rx expires in 30 days. Maybe I'm mistaken that it's the law, but my local pharmacy already asked me for ID today and denied me based on the fact that I don't have the passport.

I am not a driver, and would have to pass a driver's test again if I wanted a driver's license, which I do not. The state ID looked quite promising except that I'd need the passport first to get it. SSN cards are mandatory and birth certificates are zero points.
posted by Hwaet at 2:39 PM on July 2, 2010

I am a pharmacist, but I am not a pharmacist in New York. This document on controlled substances from the New York Department of Health says that ID is required if you are not known to the pharmacy, but it does not specify photo ID. If you've been getting your meds at the same pharmacy for awhile and they recognize you, you legally don't have to present ID, though it may be a pharmacy policy. If they don't recognize you, you might be okay with your social security card and birth certificate if you explain the situation.
posted by little e at 2:49 PM on July 2, 2010

New York state is incredibly strict about such drugs, requiring new prescriptions and barring refills.

This is a federal law.
posted by little e at 2:53 PM on July 2, 2010

The state ID looked quite promising except that I'd need the passport first to get it.

Not according to this form. You need 4 points plus the Social Security card. Can you put together 4 of the following for 1 point each? (These are from the second page of the form)

Pay stub
Employee ID
High school diploma/GED
Supermark check cashing card
Union card
Health insurance/prescription card
Life insurance policy
Utility bill
Veterans ID card
W-2 form

One of, or one each from a different institutions:
Bank statement
Cancelled check
ATM card
Major US credit card
posted by natabat at 3:50 PM on July 2, 2010

I got my grandmother to identify me once. It was enough to get me a new passport.
posted by fifilaru at 4:06 PM on July 2, 2010

Be aware that you may not have the right version of your birth certificate. There are copies, and there are copies.

I once requested a "copy" and was sent just that, a Xerox. I cheerfully marched down to the DMV only to be informed that they needed an official copy, which is like notarized or some shit.

Just to prime you, in case that happens.
posted by ErikaB at 6:26 PM on July 2, 2010

I don't know NY law, but in the state of Virginia, any direct family member can (with or without your permission & knowledge) go to the records office and request a copy of your birth certificate. So if Auntie X has an ID, she can trek up to City Hall or wherever & take care of it for your unidentified self.
posted by Ys at 7:21 PM on July 2, 2010

Relax/. I just got a NY state ID with no picture ID required. Other docs as listed on the site, but that's it. I think I had to have 6 points of verification, and you can check how many points each identifying document has on the site.

Make sure you get your BC and SS in order before you go. The DMV'll accept the receipt of application for a replacement SS card, too.

E-mail me for further hand-holding if necessary. Bonne chance! Take a bok and yer iPod when you go.
posted by kidelo at 8:32 PM on July 2, 2010

Earlier this year, my passport had expired and I wanted to get a non-driver state ID card. I am in Brooklyn. My mother, who had kept all the important documents during my entire lifetime in her kitchen cabinet, had misplaced them.

This involved replacing:

My birth certificate
My social security card
And finally, going to the DMV for an ID card (which takes two weeks to arrive, but they do give you a temporary state ID that doesn't have a photo but is 100% legally valid for ID purposes)

I didn't have any type of photo ID when applying at the DMV. I used birth certificate for proof of citizenship and name (or whatever it qualifies for), social security card, health insurance card, a phone bill, plus credit and bank cards.

Like I said, it takes about two weeks to arrive in the mail. You should be set.
posted by cmgonzalez at 1:22 AM on July 3, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks to everyone who replied.

I'm a PA who just started working with a new boss. Because I'm employed by an individual, I don't have an employee ID, W-2 form, a health insurance card, or a legit paycheck stub since I'm just paid via personal checks. My phone bill and utilities are under my friend's name, who is no relation to me. No life insurance, veteran's card, union card, or supermarket check cashing card.
posted by Hwaet at 6:25 PM on July 3, 2010

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