Identity Documents (Youth & Young Adult Legal Issues Edition)


Proper identification proves you are you. You need to be you to access services, earn an education and gain employment. It can be nearly impossible to improve your situation or meet your goals without identity documents.


Birth Certificate:

  • If you have a State I.D. Card or two other forms of I.D., you can use the CDC website to find out how to request a copy of your birth certificate. You will have to mail copies of your current proof of I.D., along with a check or money order, to the office as instructed.
  • Or you can go to a local County Clerk and Recorders office to get one printed. Any Clerk and Recorder can print a copy of your birth certificate if you were born in Montana. You may complete this in-person process by using a School I.D. – or a family member may accompany you. The cost is $8-$12.
  • If you don’t have any form of I.D. and need a Birth Certificate to begin the process to obtain all other forms of I.D., contact MLSA’s Navigator.


State I.D. Card:

Most Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) locations now require you to schedule an appointment on their website before coming in.

Note to selfie – they will need to take your picture!

You must bring with you:

Proof of Identity (must have two forms of identity)

  • You must have 1 of these:
    • Birth certificate
    • Passport
    • Record of having a driver's license or identification card from Montana or another state.
  • And 1 of these:
    • Social security card
    • School ID card
    • Certified copy of school records or transcript
    • Medicaid or health insurance card
    • Medical records
    • Documentation from the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services
    • Tribal ID
    • Any military ID or discharge paperwork    
  • And 1 of these documents that proves Montana Residency:
    • School records
    • Voter registration card
    • Rental agreement
    • Payroll check or stub
    • Bank statement
    • Utility bill
    • Auto insurance statement
    • Tax return from the prior year
    • A written statement from a parent/guardian/adult that the applicant resides with, along with a copy of a document that shows the person writing the statement is a resident


Social Security Card:

National Social Security Hotline 1-800-772-1213

Evidence Documents Required: Birth certificate & state I.D. or driver’s license or passport (in some cases your birth certificate & signed and dated medical records may be enough)

  • You can go to a local Social Security Administration Office to fill out a paper application.
  • Or you can print out a paper copy of the application from the website, fill it out, and then send it by mail. You must make copies of your Evidence Documents and include them with your paper application. You may sign for your Social Security Card, even if you are under 18 years of age, but you must have the proper evidence documents.


Find out how to protect yourself from identity theft (someone trying to be you).



Take Action


Legal Help

  • Montana Legal Services Association (MLSA) provides free civil, non-criminal legal help to eligible clients. Apply for free legal help by calling 1-800-666-6899 or applying online.
  • Tribal community members may have additional ways of accessing identity documents. If you are a tribal member living in a tribal community, contact MLSA to apply for free legal help on your specific situation at 1-800-666-6899 or by applying online.
  • Contact your nearest Self Help Law Center for free legal information and forms.


Non-Legal Resources

  • The Youth Homelessness Development Project (YHDP) is designed to support Montana service providers in the development and implementation of a coordinated community approach to preventing and ending youth homelessness. More information is avaliable at the YHDP website.
  • County resource guides provide an up-to-date listof avaliable help centers.



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Last Review and Update: Apr 24, 2023
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