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Don't Have an ID Yet? Here's How to Get One

Having an ID identification is one of the keys to success

The City of New York has launched a project called, "ID=" to help New Yorkers understand the importance of having a government-issued identification.

The "ID=" program aims to improve the quality of life of all New Yorkers -- particularly long black and Latino males -- by equipping them with the most important tool: a government-issued ID. An official ID allows a private citizen to:

Apply for a Job--Your employers will need you to show proof of identity before you start working.

Cash a Check--You need a photo ID to cash a personal or payroll check.

Open a Bank Account--Most banks ask for your Social Security number and a government-issued ID.

Get an Apartment--A photo ID is required to sign a lease.

Apply for College--Colleges ask for Social Security numbers, and may ask for photo ID.

Travel on an Airplane--Adult passengers have to show government-issued ID to board a flight.

 Receive Public Benefits such as Health Insurance--To be eligible for some public benefits you need to prove your identity, age and residence.

Enter Government Buildings for Meetings and Appointments--You need photo ID to enter some government facilities.

Get a Library Card--You need to prove your identity and your residence to get a library card.

 Get Discounts at Museums and Theme Parks--If you can prove that you’re under a certain age, you can get deals on museum and theme park admissions.

Get a Gym Membership--Some gyms require official photo ID to sign up to be a member.

There are three basic forms of government-issued IDs: a birth certificate, a social security card and a non-driver state ID.

Birth Certificate: You are eligible for a birth certificate if you can provide your parents' names and the name of the hospital where you were born. Go in person to the Office of Vital Records (125 Worth Street, Room 133 in lower Manhattan) instead of ordering online.  If you were not born in the U.S., you can contact the consulate for your country.

Social Security card: You are eligible for a Social Security card if you are a U.S. citizen or documented resident and if you have one acceptable form of photo ID. If you need an original Social Security number, you will need your birth certificate as well.

Non-Driver State ID: You are eligible for a non-driver State ID if you are a U.S. citizen or a documented resident of the U.S. You also have to be a resident of New York State.

Click here to get step-by-step information on how to apply for each of the three forms of ID.

Additionally, there is no minimum age to get an ID. Residents under age 18 will need the help of a parent when applying. New York residents under16 will need the help of a parent to obtain their birth certificate. Residents between 16 and 17 years old can apply on their own for a "minor certificate."

For more information on how to obtain an official government-issued ID, go to the "ID=" site here.

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