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In California is there a law that says you must obtain a California I'D at the age of 17

Bellflower, CA |
Filed under: Family law

My son is 17 and is being told that it is the law in California that at the age of 16 you must obtain or have a California ID

Attorney Answers 4


Not that know of-- see

All of Ms. Straus’ responses to questions posted on Avvo are intended as helpful information based upon the facts stated in the question, and are not to be relied upon as a full or complete legal opinion. It may not be what you wished to hear, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. Ms. Straus has been licensed to practice law in California for 30 years. Ms. Straus provides “unbundled” services if you need specific assistance with a specific issue. I can be contacted if you put my name or Bar number, 110028, in the State Bar web site, or you can find me on LinkedIn or Google. Goggle E. Carroll Straus. If I seem right, proceed accordingly.

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I've also never heard of any such law, BUT... having some sort of formal identification is always a good thing, regardless of age.

Like Ms. Strauss, I'm going to post a link. This one is to "Kids & the Law: An A-Z Guide to parents." I'd strongly suggest reading it and keeping a copy for future reference.

PLEASE READ BEFORE CONTACTING MY OFFICE: My office is located in Chico, Butte County, California. I offer free consultations to potential clients whose cases are in counties within a 100 mile radius of my office. In order to represent someone who lives outside that area, I would have to charge enough to pay for several hours of travel time to each court appearance. If you're outside that area, it will be more cost-efficient to hire an attorney who practices in your community. I do not accept telephone calls regarding my posts on Avvo. If you need more information, please use the "comments" button or post another question. This is a general discussion of legal principles by a California lawyer and does not create an attorney/client relationship. It's impossible to give detailed, accurate advice based on a few sentences on a website (and you shouldn't provide too much specific information about your legal matter on a public forum like this site, anyway). You should always seek advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction who can give you an informed opinion after reviewing all of the relevant information.

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I agree with both counsel, and would recommend it, it might be needed in the future especially if he does not get a drivers license.

My offices does represent people from Avvo if they contact me but only in the Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Bernardino and Riverside County in Southern California. The answers I give here are not meant to create an attorney client relationship. When accepting clients I conduct interviews face to face and they often take 30 minutes or more. I approach trials and issues from a legal and common sense approach, This is how the majority of judges I have appeared before in 40 years also make decisions. I do not intend by my advice to enter an attorney client relationship and in most cases advise to obtain legal representation. Sometimes if you can not afford it a consultation or limited scope representation is available. As an experienced attorney I can tell you, judges can be impatient, hate emotional arguments and over exagerations or lies. A brief outline of the problems and desired solutions is often best and I d0 limited scope representations advise clients on how to proceed at time of hearing or trial and my fees are considerably less when I do not appear in court as it takes much less of my time.

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I'm also unaware of any law requiring that someone have a government issued ID. Perhaps you are referring to TSA's rule regarding domestic air travel without ID. Their rule is that if you're 17 or under, there is no requirement for photo identification. If you're 18 or over, you can travel without a photo ID but will have to undergo additional screening. It's unclear by whom your son "is being told" that he must obtain a California ID. Another issue is in obtaining a job in that many jobs will require that an applicant have a photo ID. A passport certainly accomplishes the same objectives as a California state ID (allows domestic [and foreign travel]; allows one to obtain job; vote where photo ID is required; allows one to enter bars if one is 21; buy a gun, etc). There seems to be no benefit of a California ID over a US passport while the one benefit of a driver's license is one can operate a motor vehicle. Frankly a prefer a system with no government issued identification (photograph or otherwise) but that train left the station several decades ago. Unwieldy physical ID cards will likely become obsolete, government will simply identify persons through DNA mandatorily obtained at birth or retinal scans.

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Edna Carroll Straus

Edna Carroll Straus


Thou art a cynic. Of course... you may also yet be right.

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