Need a birth certificate or ID for free?
If any one of these situations applies to you:
- You are staying with in a home that is not yours or your parent’s (or legal guardian’s) because you had to leave your home
- You are in an unstable living situation, without a safe or steady home
- You are sleeping in a motel, car, tent, abandoned building, or public place OR
- You are staying in a shelter or transitional living program
1. Then it’s easier than ever to get your birth certificate (if you were born in California)! You don’t have to pay for it, and you don’t need a parent’s signature. You can do this on your own, even if you’re under 18.
- Fill out this application form (page 3).
- If you need an “authorized copy”, complete page 5 of the application in front of a notary.
- Fill out the top of this form.
- Get the bottom of the form filled out by your school counselor, a shelter or program for youth experiencing homelessness, your lawyer, or someone helping you with health, mental health, substance use, or public assistance, or employment services.
- Mail the two forms to California Department of Public Health, Vital Records – MS 5103, P.O. Box 997410, Sacramento, CA 95899-7410.
2. And then, it’s easier than ever to get your ID! You don’t have to pay for it, and you don’t need a parent’s signature. You can do this on your own, even if you’re under 18.
- Create an online account and complete the ID application form here. (Note: A No Fee Identification Card Eligibility Verification (DL 933) form can be provided by any agency, organization, nonprofit or individual qualified to verify homelessness status in California.)
- Get proof of your identity (check here for the different ways to prove your identity).
- Get proof of residency (which could be with school records or a letter from a homeless shelter; check page 2 here for all the ways to prove residency).
- Bring everything to your local DMV office.