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How do I get a new picture ID when I don't have a current one to validate that I'm me?

how do you get a replacement birth certificate

I've maybe lost my passport, the last form of picture ID that I have. Will this greatly impede getting a new one? How long would this mess usually take to get sorted out? I'm in New York City. (more inside)

I lost my driver's license years ago and have been using my passport ever since. Now I can't find the passport and I'm freaking out. How screwed am I if I need to get a new picture ID when I don't have another one to back me up? I have my birth certificate, SSN card, proof of address, and so forth. I've read this link. and the replacement steps seem easy enough, but surely one must present another form of picture ID when applying for the new passport in person?

My main concern is that I have a prescription that I need to fill out, and I need a valid ID to present it to the pharmacist. Waiting a week or two isn't a big deal, but the prescription expires in 30 days and it's an enormous pain to get a new one.

What steps do I take to make this less like the clusterfuck I'm already imagining?

This is really easily available online, but here you go:

scroll down to. "If you cannot submit primary identification, please see Secondary Identification."

Which brings you to:

If you cannot present primary identification, you must submit as much secondary identification as possible.

A Combination of Identifying Documents

Present a combination of documents that can be used to verify your personal identity. These documents are not acceptable as secondary identification when presented alone.

Example: Social Security Card + Credit Card + Employee ID + Library Card

An Identifying Witness

An identifying witness is a person who can swear to your identity. He or she must:

Be present at the time of application

Have known you for at least 2 years

Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident

Have valid ID

Fill out Form DS-71: Affidavit of Identifying Witness in the presence of a Passport Agent

NOTE: Form DS-71 is only available at your local Acceptance Facility or a Passport Agency.

Last I checked, if your passport is lost, they give you a temporary one, but if it it destroyed, such as dropped into the incinerator, you get a regular one.

(also, for the record, I have never been required to show ID at the pharmacy, this seems like a quirk of your individual pharmacy. Perhaps transfer your prescription to a different pharmacy and see if they can fill it without ID?)

You say lost your driver's license. Do you mean you lost the physical card or the ability to own a drivers license? Many states will allow you to renew your driver's license online, and they'll send you a new one (old photo and info) in the mail.

Why go for a new passport? Yes that will take much longer. What you want is a Non-Driver State ID card. They exist exactly for people who want a state ID card but don't want/cannot drive. You should be able to get it with just SSN card and US birth certificate. Probably on the same day.

Brainmouse, IDs are required for


It may be faster to get a NYS ID or driver license than to get replacement passport since you're not going anywhere soon. That has its own hurdles to overcome, but one thing in your favor is the state has your photo from your last license for reference.

It is weird your pharmacist requires an ID to pick up medicine. The only time I'm required to show ID is if I'm buying Sudafed to keep me from buying quantities suitable for setting up my own meth lab. One thing I remember distinctly is being at a Walgreens in Austin during the peak of Cedar Fever season and the lady in front of me wanting to buy full strength Claritin but the pharmacist wouldn't accept her passport as ID. At the time, the Texas law clearly said "state or military ID" was required to buy psuedoephedrine products. This was before the federal law whcih does allow for passports to be used. I found it completely stupid that they wouldn't take a passport but then again, many laws are stupid.

ah, I was unaware. Thanks fontophilic.

Since you're in NYC, you can make a visit to the New York Passport Agency. Someone there may be able to help you. Check out this article from the Times several days ago.

Thanks for the info. Looks like I'll be hauling a witness to the post office soon.

To clarify, my prescription is for Ritalin (its absence in my life is most likely the reason I lost the stupid passport in the first place) and I do believe that most pharmacies in NYC require photo ID to get the pills. New York state is incredibly strict about such drugs, requiring new prescriptions and barring refills. My doctor is kind enough to write me a new Rx in between visits, but yes, I'd like to get a valid ID to present before the Rx expires in 30 days. Maybe I'm mistaken that it's the law, but my local pharmacy already asked me for ID today and denied me based on the fact that I don't have the passport.

I am not a driver, and would have to pass a driver's test again if I wanted a driver's license, which I do not. The state ID looked quite promising except that I'd need the passport first to get it. SSN cards are mandatory and birth certificates are zero points.

posted by Hwaet at 2:39 PM on July 2, 2010

I am a pharmacist, but I am not a pharmacist in New York. This document on controlled substances from the New York Department of Health says that ID is required if you are not known to the pharmacy, but it does not specify photo ID. If you've been getting your meds at the same pharmacy for awhile and they recognize you, you legally don't have to present ID, though it may be a pharmacy policy. If they don't recognize you, you might be okay with your social security card and birth certificate if you explain the situation.

New York state is incredibly strict about such drugs, requiring new prescriptions and barring refills.

This is a federal law.

The state ID looked quite promising except that I'd need the passport first to get it.

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