Identification Multiplication
August 24, 2012 7:55 AM   Subscribe

Is it possible to have a driver's license from one state and a state ID card from a different state?

My domicile is in state X, but I live and go to school in state Y. I am technically a resident of both states according to the way they both define "resident."

My driver's license is issued by state X and I would prefer to keep it that way. Nevertheless, there are a few things that would be more convenient if I had a state ID from state Y. State IDs are available to residents of state Y. I fit the statutory definition of a resident and this does not conflict with keeping my domicile in state X.

From what I understand, If I get a driver's license in a new state, I need to surrender my old license and a national registry will help cancel my old license. Would the same thing happen with state IDs? If I got a state ID from Y, would the states communicate and cancel my driver's license from X?

Has anyone had experience with this?
posted by helloimjohnnycash to Law & Government (19 answers total)
I have two different state IDs and one license. Never been asked to turn any in.
posted by KogeLiz at 8:01 AM on August 24, 2012

When I applied for a new learner's permit in the State of Delaware earlier this year, they asked if I had any IDs or licenses from other states. Apparently under the new ID guidelines, you're supposed to forfeit your old state IDs if you apply for another one.
posted by inturnaround at 8:08 AM on August 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

To get a definitive answer to your question, it would help to know what State X and State Y are.
posted by Johnny Assay at 8:09 AM on August 24, 2012

It depends on the state back when I needed to get a NY drivers license they took my still valid CT one and stapled it to the forms. 8 years later when I got my NC license they didn't ask for the NY one.
posted by Captain_Science at 8:11 AM on August 24, 2012

My experience, as someone who lived in two states and wanted to have IDs from both of them is that the only way you can do this nowadays is through omission. That is, they ask if you have IDs/licenses from other states and if you say no they don't have a technological way to check. So (again in my experience only) this is not something that is legally allowed but is something that could be technically possible to do. The spirit of the residency laws is that you have a residency in one state, not multiple states. The reality of the situation is that if you, say, own property in one state and attend school in another state and love there, you may have a situation in which you describe. So, you need to figure out whether you want the solution that is technically correct but, were it explained to everyone they would say "You can't do that" or just pick a state even if it's more inconvenient for you personally. The states I did this with were Washington (to have state health care there) and VT (because I owned a house there). Usually, though, the state ID isn't really enough to proclaim "residency" in many situations, was what I found anyhow.
posted by jessamyn at 8:14 AM on August 24, 2012 [3 favorites]

I think itis quite possible, and the chance of anyone actually catching on is pretty low. I do wonder about the potential ethics claiming residency in two states entails and think the tie breaker would be the state you file, or would file, taxes in. And I would not be surprised if therewas some specfic State laws saying holding, and using, both ids is not kosher, so be carefull, doing so may be interpreted as gaming the system.
posted by edgeways at 8:15 AM on August 24, 2012

I would think that there is a danger in the state that you don't pay taxes in wondering why one of its residents did not file a state tax income form. Of course, if that state is one that doesn't have state level income taxes you can ignore this warning.

Also, ever since 9-11 the states have been getting a lot more interconnected on this type of stuff.
posted by COD at 8:18 AM on August 24, 2012

Not sure about other states, but in MA you can get a Liquor ID card which basically for college students who have this problem.
posted by fbo at 8:46 AM on August 24, 2012

Thanks for the help so far everyone. There's a lot of talk about whether it's possible to be a resident of more than one state. Both states in question make a distinction between one's domicile (the place of a person's true, fixed, permanent home) and one's residence. While you can only have a single domicile, you can be a resident of multiple places.

Based on the way X and Y define "resident," I am a resident of both states. Furthermore, state ID cards in Y are available to all residents.

Jessamyn gets at one of my concerns: I have no interest in lying by omission to obtain a second ID. Assuming I would not have to do this, I'm curious whether the new ID would void my old driver's license.
posted by helloimjohnnycash at 8:47 AM on August 24, 2012

You are free to apply, but don't lie about unsurrendered cards.

Also think twice in general about being in two states at once like this.

A good rule of thumb is that getting a DL/SID or registering to vote in a second state are more likely not to help you than to help - subject you to double tax, deny you in-state tuition in the first, require you to show for jury duty in both places, etc.

Also, there are very specific rules in and insurance policies about where you are supposed to register your car and have your DL. Be very sure you don't mess that up.
posted by MattD at 8:50 AM on August 24, 2012

It really would be easier if you told us what X & Y are. For example, NYS requires you to surrender an NY driver's licence, but only seems to allow a non-driver ID card for people without a driver's licence (making no mention of where that licence must be), so you probably aren't allowed to apply at all. That could be very different from your situation.

Does the State ID place have a toll-free number you can call and ask?
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:59 AM on August 24, 2012

I would think that there is a danger in the state that you don't pay taxes in wondering why one of its residents did not file a state tax income form.

That's not based on residency, though, just your income. One year I paid income tax in three different states because I had one commuting job, and then one local and one online that made enough to require taxes. But if I had just had the commuting job, I would have only paid taxes in a state where I didn't live (as far as I understand). Probably more complicated if you own property, but that isn't income tax; anyway, you can certainly file in multiple states.
posted by mdn at 11:59 AM on August 24, 2012

I don't know if this would help you, but I have a passport card as my secondary ID. No lies of commission or omission were involved, and I just had to check off an extra box (and pay the fee) when I renewed my passport.
posted by Calloused_Foot at 1:12 PM on August 24, 2012

screwed up the link:
posted by Calloused_Foot at 1:12 PM on August 24, 2012

One thing that may be factor in your decision: you will likely get jury summonses from each locale you are a resident of, if they both draw their juror lists from licenses and voter registrations. If both residences have lots of jury cases (e.g urban or high-crime areas) this could be an annoyance for you.
posted by zippy at 1:39 PM on August 24, 2012

Domicile and residence are tricky things, but generally there is only one legal answer for each. I do not think you can be a legal resident of (or domiciled at) two places at the same time. There is a threshold that must be met for them to change.

Anyway, possible? Yes. Legal? No.
posted by gjc at 5:47 PM on August 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm curious whether the new ID would void my old driver's license.

To the best of my knowledge -- and you might want to call up the DMV/RMVs where you are considering this -- there is no automatic voiding of driver's licenses just because you have a legal ID in another state. My experiences are incomplete, but this is a hobby interest area of mine and I have never heard of this happening.
posted by jessamyn at 7:43 PM on August 24, 2012

I'm not sure about the legalities of it all, but I have a driver's license in one state and a state ID card in another. At no point do I recall having to lie to achieve wouldn't have even occurred to me.

Asking at the DMV seems like your best bet, in any case.
posted by dysh at 8:29 PM on August 24, 2012

Something you might want to consider is whether you might eventually want a driver's license in State Y. In New York, for example, once you get a non-driver state ID, you have to jump through all of the testing hoops to get a driver's license afterward. If instead you surrender your State X license, you automatically get the NY driver's license. Might make your life easier down the road.
posted by twoporedomain at 7:29 AM on August 25, 2012

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