“How to find my ID number?” is a question that I surprisingly get quite often. Mostly by those who lost their ID card. While thankfully I’ve never lost my ID or any government-issued documents, understandably, this happens to a lot of people.
If you’re asking the question “How to find my ID number?” let me help you look for it.
How To Find My ID Number: What ID Number Are We Talking?
So we have to first establish what ID number we’re talking about. Some are referring to their ID card, while others are referring to their driver’s license number.
We’re going to be discussing both IDs in this post so we’ll cover all bases. And don’t worry, if you lost other government-issued documents we’ll briefly cover those as well.
If it turns out your ID or driver’s license isn’t missing, you can easily find your ID number on the card. For your driver’s license, it’s usually the 8-digit number (sometimes alphanumeric) with a ‘DLN’ written in front of it, which stands for Drivers License Number.
Meanwhile, your ID card number usually lies beside your photo or under your Date of Birth. And if you’re wondering, no, your ID card number and driver’s license number are not the same.
While it’s quite normal for different types of IDs to have different numbers, what might sound weird to non-US citizens is that the US doesn’t actually have a national ID card system. In other words, the state issues both types of IDs, and not the federal government.
While a valid ID is often necessary to obtain necessities and purchase certain items, they’re not a national identification system. A closer thing to this system is your passport since the Department of State issues them and they’re a federal agency.
Your social security card is arguably even more important. This is because many essential services – such as banking for example – require them for you to open an account. However, they’re not really an identification card because it has your social security number and name, and no other information like Date of Birth or residency.
How To Find My ID Number: Where To Find Them If You Lost Your ID
Okay, sorry, we digressed a bit there. So, what to do if you lost your ID card and need to find the number? You’ll want to file for a replacement, but if you need the ID number urgently, then here are some things that you can do:
1. How To Find My ID Number: Look For Expired IDs
First thing is to look for any expired IDs you may have lying around. A state ID card expires around every eight years, while a driver’s license expires every four years. Try to recall if you have any of them lying around in the house. Additionally, you may have taken a photo of your ID, see if you have them on your phone or computer.
However, keep in mind that different agencies use different numbers. If for example, your old license was issued in the state of Florida and your last valid license was issued in Texas, then the numbers will be different.
2. Check Your Vehicle Registration
Much like ID cards, the state also issues your vehicle registration or title, not a federal government agency. Therefore, some states may include your driver’s license number on the registration, although some will not.
Since you’re usually required to keep a copy in the car, you’re likely to have them in there and it’s easy to find. Check your registration and see if it contains your ID number.
3. Do You Have Any Canceled Checks?
If you still use personal checks and they get canceled, the bank will send the canceled check via mail. Retailers often write down your ID number before accepting it, so, you may be able to find them there.
You can also check your email if you don’t keep the physical check. Banks will often send a digital copy to your registered email account.
4. Check With Your Auto Insurance Company
Since auto insurance is obligatory, there’s a large chance you’ll be able to find your ID number by checking with them. You’re unlikely to find them in the policy since it’s not required, but the insurance company should have records of your driver’s license number.
As long as you have your policy number, you can ask them to inform you of your ID number listed in their records. They’ll probably ask a couple of questions to verify your identity first. However, make sure that you’ve updated their records to your last valid ID. Otherwise, they will have the old number which may not be valid anymore.
Additionally, some insurance companies may have an online platform. This way, you can log in and look for a copy of your initial application or policy quote, which is likely to have your ID number.
5. Call The Agency
If none of the steps above helped you, then you’re going to have to call the agency that issued your ID. While not all, some agencies will be willing to tell you your ID’s number over the phone.
They will usually ask a few questions to verify your identity, such as name, date of birth, and birthplace. If they can’t release your ID number over the phone, they’ll usually ask you to visit a local office in person.
6. Another Option: Check With Your Employer
One more option that may be possible for you to get not just your ID number, but also a copy of your ID is by checking with your employer. They often request that you provide a copy of your valid ID before you start working.
If they keep it in their records, then you can request your employer to give you a copy. This will greatly help if you need a copy for whatever reason, and will certainly help when you need to file a replacement:
How To Find My ID Number: Filing A Replacement
So, now if someone asks you “How to find my ID number?” you’ll know the steps to help them find it.
However, even if you’ve found your ID number, you’ll still need to request a replacement. Regardless of whether it’s a non-driver ID or a driver’s license, you’ll need to request them at the DMV. And the process and documents required are largely the same, here’s how:
1. Report That Your License Is Lost Or Stolen
Some states will require you to file a police report if your license or ID is lost or stolen. It’s generally a good idea to report that you lost your ID so that the police can create a paper trail, just in case a morally-compromised individual uses your license fraudulently.
This may also be required at the DMV when you file for a replacement. However, this depends on the policy of your local DMV. You’ll need to check on their website on the documents required, which brings us to:
2. Gather Original Identity Documents
If you’ve managed to find your ID number, then the process will be much easier. The DMV office will often not require you to provide any other information other than the number on your last valid ID – provided it was issued in the same state that you’re applying to now.
However, just in case, it’s a good idea to have other documents on hand. You’ll need to prove your identity and residence with the original documents, they will often not accept copies.
Collect your passport or birth certificate, these are often accepted as valid proof of identification. Having your social security card or number may also prove to be handy. If you want to find out for sure what you will need, check what your local DMV will require on their website.
3. Visit A Local Office
Getting a replacement typically will require you to visit the local office in person. Don’t forget to bring the documents we mentioned above so you’ll have everything ready on hand and don’t have to get back home, and then wait again in line for an eternity. No one wants to spend what limited time they have on earth queuing in a DMV line.
If your previous license was issued by the same office you’re visiting, they likely already have you in the system. So don’t worry, you won’t have to do another driver’s test if you need to replace your driving license.
Pro-tip, you should call ahead and find out if you can schedule an appointment with a representative in the office. This will greatly reduce your wait time. Time that we’re sure you don’t want to spend at the DMV unless maybe you have a crush on someone who works there.
Anyway, some states may have a platform that allows you to replace your ID without going to a local office. Here’s an example for the Texas Department of Public Safety:
You’ll notice the video above requires you to provide the audit number for a replacement. While this seems like a bureaucratic loop, as mentioned earlier, you may be able to get a copy of your ID from your employer.
You’ll be able to find the audit number there which will help you to apply for a replacement online rather than going to a local office in person. Check your local DMV websites and see if they have any solution that doesn’t require you to go to an office.
4. Complete The Registration
You’ll typically need to fill out a form or application for a replacement. While you may be able to fill it out on the spot, some offices expect you to already have the application filled out and ready on hand.
Again, we cannot stress this enough, it’s a good idea to check your local DMV website and see what they require. If they have the application on the site, download them and fill it out at home. Additionally, some forms may require you to include information about the vehicle you drive especially if you’re getting a replacement for a commercial license.
Afterward, there’s usually a fee you have to pay. The cost varies by state, but it’s usually somewhere between $10 – $40 for a replacement ID or license.
If your license expired before you lost it, you’ll need to pay more fees on top of the replacement fee. This also varies by state but as an example, the New York DMV will charge you $1 for every six months since the expiration date.
5. Wait For Your New License
Some agencies may immediately print out your license after you finish the registration. However, it’s quite often you’ll need to wait for it to arrive in the mail, but they’ll give you a temporary license for the time being.
If for whatever reason you need the permanent card urgently, ask the agent if there’s a way that you can expedite the process or come pick it up so you don’t have to wait for the mail.
Now that you have your replacement license or ID, be sure to keep it safe in your wallet. You can put Bluetooth trackers such as Tile or Apple Airtags in your wallet to help you track them if you lose them again.
We also recommend making a copy of your ID and keeping it somewhere at home. This will greatly help as well if you lost it again. Or you can also take a picture of it on your phone and keep it in there, but make sure your phone is secure as identity theft is a serious problem.
How To Find My ID Number: Questions And Answers
Got any more questions about how to find your ID number or something else about personal identification? We’ll try to answer as many questions as possible below:
Why Don’t The United States Have A National ID System?
There are a couple of reasons for this, but mainly it’s because social security cards already act as a sort of nationwide ID card.
Unlike IDs or a driver’s license, social security cards are issued by the federal government. While it’s not really an identification since the cards don’t have information like residency and date of birth, it’s used for a variety of things.
The card is no longer just for, well, social security, but it’s also a requirement when you want to open a bank account, apply for a driving license, and of course, for tax purposes. Since it has a wide range of functions, it serves as a national identification number.
However, the government is already moving towards making a nationwide ID card, known as REAL ID at the moment.
What Are “REAL” IDs?
The READ ID Act is a license issuance program passed by Congress in 2005. Essentially, the specification for driver’s licenses will be decided and mandated by the United States government. ID cards will still be issued by the state, but the design must follow the central government’s requirements, and the ID numbers will be centralized.
In other words, it’s a nationwide ID system. Industry experts have concerns about its practicality and the dangers of the database concerning identity theft. The original deadline was in May 2008, but the program has been pushed back and will likely be implemented in 2023.
How Do I Find My Social Security Number?
It’s on your social security card. You should also open a mySocialSecurity account. After creating an account, you can log in and find your social security information there. This means you don’t need to carry your card everywhere and you can keep it safe at home, minimizing the risk of losing it.
What If I Lost My Social Security Card?
Similar to lost or stolen ID cars, you should file a police report first. Afterward, the Social Security Administration doesn’t actually require you to replace your card. In most cases, knowing your social security number is enough.
However, if you don’t feel comfortable not replacing your card, you can easily replace it online on the SSA’s website. If you already have a mySocialSecurity account, the process becomes much easier.
You can use the online service as long as you’re 18 years of age or older, not requesting any change to your card, and have a valid ID. Keep in mind that this online service is not available yet in Alaska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and West Virginia. In these states, you’ll have to call them at 1-800-772-1213 or visit an SSA office.
What If I Lost Passport?
You’ll need to fill out two forms, which are the DS-64 form which is a statement regarding a lost or stolen passport. And the DS-11 form is an application for a U.S. passport.
Next, prepare citizenship evidence, either birth or naturalization certification, and a photocopy of said evidence. As well as a valid ID and a photocopy of it, alongside a passport photo. Afterward, take these items to a passport agency as you’ll need to apply in person.
There will be a fee for this, but the cost varies depending on several things. We recommend using the Department of State’s calculator to find out how much you’ll need to pay.
How Do I Protect Myself From Identity Theft?
Identity theft is a serious issue and can become a very real problem if you lose your ID cards. Here are some quick tips from us to prevent it:
- Keep your social security card and number safe. This is almost like a master key and letting someone else know can lead to a world of problems.
- Review your credit card and bank statements regularly.
- Shred documents containing personal information before throwing them away. Such as a copy of your ID and bank statements.
- Freeze your credit file with all major credit bureaus whenever you don’t need it. Freezing or unfreezing them is usually free.
- Be wary of phishing and scammers claiming to be government entities or businesses.
- Protect your electronic devices such as your phone and computer. Antivirus is often unnecessary as long as you don’t visit, shall we say, questionable websites. But be aware of signs of malware such as sudden slowdowns and battery drain on your device.
- Wipe your device entirely before selling or donating them since many of us keep private and identity information in our devices.
- Watch your mailbox and get your mail daily. It’s quite an easy way for identity thieves to obtain information about you.
How Do I Find My State Tax ID Number?
The state tax ID number or state EIN (Employer Identification Number) is a unique number for a business or organization given by the state in where the business operates.
If you own a business, you’ll need to apply for the EIN online at the IRS website. Applying online is the easiest way as you will get the EIN or state tax ID number immediately. This video is a great guide if you need to apply for an EIN:
If you’re an employee, you may also need it when you’re processing a company tax payment or filing a tax return, opening a company bank account, and applying for a company loan or credit card. Basically, if you work in finance you’re going to need to know this as well.
Someone in your company will probably be able to provide this information, check with your supervisor in finance or legal. If not, you can call or email the Department of Revenue in your state. Meanwhile, if you’re an independent contractor, you can find the number in the Payer’s Federal Identification Number Box on Form 1099.
How To Find My ID Number: Wrap Up
To summarize, you can find your ID number on your ID card. It’s usually beside your photo or under it and near the date of birth. If you lost your ID card, try looking for a copy somewhere if you know you’ve made it in the past.
If not, you can check your vehicle registration, insurance company, or also with your employer as they often ask for a copy of your ID before you start working at the company. As a last resort, call your local DMV that issued the ID and ask if their willing to give your ID number.
Afterward, regardless of what ID you lost, whether it’s your driver’s license, social security, or passport, file a police report and file a request for a replacement at the appropriate agency.
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