Do I need a birth certificate to replace my lost driver's license?
March 21, 2017 7:54 PM   Subscribe

I lost my California driver's license and need to replace it as soon as possible, because I'm interviewing for new jobs and may have an offer soon. I actually don't own a car and almost never drive. The license is really just for official ID purposes.

I don't have a passport, birth certificate, or any other photo ID. I could order a copy of my birth certificate, but it could take up to a month to get here. I do have a social security card, two (different banks) debit cards with my name on them, and a subtenant lease for the room I'm currently renting.

There is plenty of information online re: what you need for a new license (which would require a birth certificate, passport, etc.), but not a replacement. This info from the DMV website doesn't specify what documents are required.

Have you recently replaced your license in CA? What did you bring to the DMV?
posted by Munching Langolier to Grab Bag (10 answers total)
If the purpose is for filling out an I-9, you can also bring a voter registration card or an old school ID, if you have one of those floating around (along with your SS card). More details here.

In the meantime, I would just put in an order for a birth certificate (useful to have in life in general for when these things come up), and show up at the DMV with all the documentation you can pull together. The worst they can do is tell you they can't issue the licence that day, but at least they will be specific on exactly what you need to bring in. I believe at most CA DMVs you can make an appointment to at least make it less of a wait.
posted by rainbowbrite at 8:25 PM on March 21, 2017 says you must appear in person and that the list is same as original app... passport, birth cert etc.
posted by chasles at 8:25 PM on March 21, 2017

Your originial link
is to the CA dmv site and mentions a thumbprint. I think that is what they will use to verify your original license.
Unless you have changed your address, name, or other info, I believe that is all you need.

Go down and see what the form actually asks for. There just might be a box you check to indicate that you need a replacement. If not, you can then figure out your options.
posted by calgirl at 8:38 PM on March 21, 2017

Or try the phone option...

DMV Self Service
Automated Telephone Services available 24/7

Call 1-800-777-0133 and Use Your Phone to:
Make appointments for office visits (including driving tests).
Renew your vehicle registration (see your renewal notice for the RIN-Renewal ID Number).
Find out the types of services conducted in various DMV offices, business hours, locations and directions.
Request DMV forms, handbooks, Fast Facts, and How-To brochures be mailed to you.
Listen to answers to frequently asked questions.
Get general information about vehicle registration and driver licensing requirements.
posted by calgirl at 8:44 PM on March 21, 2017

Or instead of going in person to ask, you can first call the DMV in Sacramento: Telephone: 1-800-777-0133

I've called before about various traffic codes for small claims and things like pink slip transfer problems and they are extremely helpful and knowledgeable.

If you are a AAA member they can probably advise you, too.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:48 PM on March 21, 2017

In CA they usually just print you a new license and they will have your photo on file. I'd call first but I think it's not a huge problem.
posted by fshgrl at 10:06 PM on March 21, 2017

I lost my wallet here in CA about 5 years ago and yeah, I just showed up at the DMV and they reissued it. I didn't have any documentation. Possible things have changed since then but the only hassle I recall was time spent at the DMV.
posted by MillMan at 10:12 PM on March 21, 2017

This doesn't solve your immediate problem because the requirements are pretty much the same, but if you only want the driver's license for identification purposes, well, they make a state ID for that. You can use it for any non-driving form that asks for your driver's license.
posted by aniola at 10:12 PM on March 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

If it wasn't expired I am pretty sure you can just get a new one in person. That's why they put your picture on it! :)
posted by pazazygeek at 9:12 AM on March 22, 2017

Fortunately, calling the DMV in California is super easy. Instead of putting you on hold, they save your place in the queue and you hang up, and they call you back an hour later. I'd just call them.
posted by radioamy at 9:44 AM on March 22, 2017

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