Forms of Identification

What Do I Need?

Are you looking for your first job? Before you start, you will need several documents that prove your identify. Employers will ask for your Social Security number (SSN) and an official identification card before hiring you.If you don’t have a Social Security number, you will also need a certified copy of your birth certificate.

The 3 Basic Forms of Identification:

Contact Information

Social Security Administration

Birth Certificates

Maryland Identification Card

How to get a Maryland Identification Card
Locations of Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration Branches

Social Security Number (SSN)

A Social Security number (SSN) is a unique 9 digit number that is given by the federal Social Security Administration. Your parents or guardian will likely have your SSN card with the number.

You will use your SSN throughout your life.

Keep it in a safe place with other important documents, like your birth certificate or diploma. It is alright to give your number to an employer or when you apply for government services.

What if I don’t have a Social Security number?

If you have never had a SSN, you must submit an application to the Social Security Administration. Individuals 12 years old and over will be interviewed in person. If your SSN is lost, you can ask for a replacement card. You will need these documents for a new or replacement card:

  • U.S. birth certificate or U.S. passport
  • State Driver’s license, State identification card, or school photo ID

Other documents may be accepted. The application for a SSN is free.

U.S. Birth Certificate

Your birth certificate is the most important document you'll need to prove your legal identity and age.

If you need a copy or a certified copy, you will need to know where you were born.

What if I don’t have my birth certificate?

You, your parents, or guardian may request a copy of the birth certificate. You can request a copy of your birth certificate through the Division of Vital Records. You will need to

  • complete an application for a copy of a birth certificate,
  • provide identification,
  • pay a fee.

The Division of Vital Records provides detailed information about this process and it is possible to apply online.

What if I wasn’t born in Maryland?

If you were born in a state other than Maryland, contact the vital records office in the state where you were born for instructions on how to request a copy and information on any fees. The National Center for Health Statistics provides contact information for getting vital records for every state.

Maryland Identification Card

It is important to have a form of identification (ID) with you at all times in case of an emergency.

A driver’s license or an identification card is the most common form of an official government ID.

What is a Maryland Identification Card?

A Maryland Identification Card is an official document with your picture. The card has your name, where you live and your age. You can use the card for many things, including getting a job, cashing a check, and opening a bank account.

The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) issues ID cards. You must go to a MVA office to get an ID. To apply, you will need:

  • Proof of identify and age,
  • Proof of a Social Security Number,
  • Proof of where you live.

For more information about how to apply, fees, and documents needed, visit the MVA website.