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US Government Issued ID

US Government Issued ID

Old Mar 27th 2015, 1:55 pm
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Default US Government Issued ID

Hi there!

Okay, well I'll start by saying that I'm not actually an expat but wasn't sure where else to have my question answered! I'm so so sorry if I shouldn't be on here!

But I'll be completing a 4 month work exchange on a J1 Visa starting in June.

I was wondering whether I would be able to get an official ID for my time there? I'm having a week in NYC before I start my job over there and really wanted to be able to go to bars etc. without having to carry my passport around with me! I know that they'll probably be iffy about me using my provisional drivers license in a lot of places over there!

Thanks for your time, and again, I apologise profusely if I'm not supposed to be posting on here!
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Old Mar 27th 2015, 2:15 pm
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Default Re: US Government Issued ID

As a result of 9/11, and the resulting USA PATRIOT Act, it is impossible to get a US "government issued photo ID" unless you can prove you are a US resident. Your UK provisional drivers licence should be fine, especially in New York, where (i) they are not super-hung-up on the evils of drink, and (ii) bars are very used to visitors from overseas, so shouldn't have a problem with foreign photo IDs.

Last edited by Pulaski; Mar 27th 2015 at 2:41 pm.
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Old Mar 27th 2015, 2:34 pm
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Default Re: US Government Issued ID

When I first moved here I only had an issue using my UK driving license as ID once (at World of Beer) but I was with one of the girls that worked there so they let me in after she spoke to the bell-end on the door.
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Old Mar 27th 2015, 2:34 pm
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Default Re: US Government Issued ID

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
As a result of 9/11, and the resulting USA PATRIOT Act, it is impossible to get a US "government issued photo ID" unless you can prove you are a US resident. Your UK provisional drivers licence should be fine, especially in New York, where (i) they are not super-hung-up on the evils of drink, and (ii) bars are very used to visitors from overseas, so shouldn't have a problem with foreign photo IDs.
That's great! Thanks so much for the advice.
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Old Mar 27th 2015, 7:13 pm
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Default Re: US Government Issued ID

+1 to the UK ID. They might look at it a bit more closely, they might ask somebody else, but ultimately it should be ok. And if it's not, you go somewhere where it is!
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Old Mar 27th 2015, 7:49 pm
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Default Re: US Government Issued ID

As others have said - don't worry most bars have no issue with overseas IDs. I used my Aussie one for 2 years at least. Mostly because it was a great conversation starter!
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Old Mar 27th 2015, 8:09 pm
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Default Re: US Government Issued ID

New York is hopefully better then, in San Diego I even had issues with a Canadian DL, and many places will ID everybody. If all else fails use your passport.
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Old Mar 27th 2015, 11:00 pm
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Default Re: US Government Issued ID

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
As a result of 9/11, and the resulting USA PATRIOT Act, it is impossible to get a US "government issued photo ID" unless you can prove you are a US resident. Your UK provisional drivers licence should be fine, especially in New York, where (i) they are not super-hung-up on the evils of drink, and (ii) bars are very used to visitors from overseas, so shouldn't have a problem with foreign photo IDs.
There's actually nothing stopping you from applying for a non-driver ID on a J-1 visa. You'll have to wait until your social security number comes through, but once you've got that you can go to the DMV and apply. You can find more details here: Get a non-driver ID card | New York State DMV

I'd definitely recommend it - while UK drivers licensed are generally accepted in NYC, you'll have less trouble with a US-issued ID, and it makes a nice souvenir as well!
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Old Mar 28th 2015, 1:15 am
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Default Re: US Government Issued ID

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
As a result of 9/11, and the resulting USA PATRIOT Act, it is impossible to get a US "government issued photo ID" unless you can prove you are a US resident.
Um no, you can get one in a non-immigrant status, you've just got to be lawfully present. They go by the date on the I-94 for the expiry date.

Various States (but not NY) will even issue them to people not lawfully present but they're not REAL ID, however they'd get you into a bar.

I doubt it's worth the hassle for a 4-month stay though. Although it's not terribly difficult to apply for a State ID card.
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Old Mar 28th 2015, 1:59 am
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Default Re: US Government Issued ID

Originally Posted by Steve_ View Post
Um no, you can get one in a non-immigrant status, you've just got to be lawfully present. They go by the date on the I-94 for the expiry date.

Various States (but not NY) will even issue them to people not lawfully present but they're not REAL ID, however they'd get you into a bar.

I doubt it's worth the hassle for a 4-month stay though. Although it's not terribly difficult to apply for a State ID card.
It is just a game. I am pushing 50 and often get carded by 15 year olds when buying cigarettes. Smile and nod.
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Old Mar 28th 2015, 2:04 am
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Default Re: US Government Issued ID

Originally Posted by Steve_ View Post
Um no, you can get one in a non-immigrant status, you've just got to be lawfully present. ......
Um yes ...... I said "resident" and residency has nothing to do with your immigration status. I would agree that one could perhaps be deemed resident after less than four months but it would be a bit of a stretch as you wouldn't be doing things like signing a regular lease, setting up utilities, buying a car, opening a bank account and all the other things that differentiate a resident from a visitor.
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Old Mar 28th 2015, 9:15 am
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Default Re: US Government Issued ID

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Um yes ...... I said "resident" and residency has nothing to do with your immigration status. I would agree that one could perhaps be deemed resident after less than four months but it would be a bit of a stretch as you wouldn't be doing things like signing a regular lease, setting up utilities, buying a car, opening a bank account and all the other things that differentiate a resident from a visitor.
I think it may vary state by state but NY certainly does allow a 'temporary visitor' on a J-1 visa to apply for a non driver ID without any proof of 'residency'.

The ID will have 'temp visitor' and the visa expiry date printed on it, but the actual ID expiration date will be usually 4 or 8 years from when you apply.
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Old Mar 28th 2015, 12:42 pm
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Default Re: US Government Issued ID

Originally Posted by mdc View Post
I think it may vary state by state but NY certainly does allow a 'temporary visitor' on a J-1 visa to apply for a non driver ID without any proof of 'residency'.

The ID will have 'temp visitor' and the visa expiry date printed on it, but the actual ID expiration date will be usually 4 or 8 years from when you apply.
Really? So presumably that is at least part of the reason why New York is not compliant with the REAL ID Act.
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Old Mar 28th 2015, 10:53 pm
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Default Re: US Government Issued ID

Originally Posted by FinnDiego View Post
New York is hopefully better then, in San Diego I even had issues with a Canadian DL, and many places will ID everybody. If all else fails use your passport.
Yes, I had the same issue at a few places before with my BC license, so I always carry my US Passport with me as well. Luckily as I have aged, and unless the place is one that has a lot of young folks, I don't generally get carded anywhere anymore except Wal-Mart in Washington, appears their register won't let the cashier process the sale without the birth year.
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Old Mar 28th 2015, 11:42 pm
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Default Re: US Government Issued ID

Find some schoolkids to include you on their bulk order for fake IDs.
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