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

Asked 4 months ago - Bellflower, CA

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)

  1. Robert Lee Marshall

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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... more
  2. Edna Carroll Straus

    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Not that know of-- see

    All of Ms. Straus’ responses to questions posted on Avvo are intended as helpful information based upon the facts... more
  3. Stephen Ross Cohen

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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... more
  4. Vijay Dinakar


    Contributor Level 17


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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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