This document summarizes current state laws pertaining to access to vital records for children and youth experiencing homelessness. Specifically, it includes statutes that provide fee waivers for people experiencing homelessness for birth certificates (BC), state photo identification cards (ID), and driver licenses (DL). It also identifies state laws that specifically provide unaccompanied youth under age 18 the ability to obtain these documents without the signature of a parent or legal guardian. It does not address or include emancipation laws or the rights of youth who have been legally emancipated. Please contact Patricia Julianelle to share information about other state laws on vital records and youth experiencing homelessness.

State BC fee waiver ID fee waiver DL fee waiver Access for unaccompanied youth under 18
AL N/A N/A

AL HB 385

 

Exempt homeless students from paying certain issuance fees for a driver’s license, duplicate license, or the driver’s license examination.

Ala. Admin. Code r. 420-7-1-.22

 

The registrant on a birth certificate may obtain certified copies of his or her own record if he or she is at least 14 years of age or is an emancipated minor.

AK N/A N/A N/A N/A
AZ N/A

N/A

 

N/A

A.R.S. § 36-324

 

A child who is at least sixteen years of age and who either does not have a residence address or is in the department of child safety’s custody may receive a certified copy of the child’s certificate of birth registration without the signature of the child’s parent, guardian or foster parent.

 

A.R.S. § 28-3165

 

A child who is at least sixteen years of age and who either does not have a residence address or is in the department of child safety’s custody may receive a nonoperating identification license without the signature of the child’s parent, guardian or foster parent.

 

AR N/A N/A N/A The Arkansas Department of Health website specifies that a registrant at least 16 years old can request their BC.
CA

CA HLTH & S § 103577

 

The local registrar, county recorder, or the State Registrar, shall, without an issuance fee or any other associated fee, issue a certified record of live birth to a person who can verify his or her status as a homeless person or a homeless child or youth.

CA VEHICLE § 14902

 

A fee shall not be charged for an original or replacement identification card issued to any person who can verify their status as a homeless person or homeless child or youth.

 

 

N/A

A youth’s ability to obtain their own BC and ID appears to be implied by the fee waiver statutes.

 

CO

N/A

 

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

N/A

In a phone call, Colorado’s Office of Vital Records stated that any minor aged 16 or older with either a state-issued ID or a school ID from the current year could request their own BC without an adult.

 

CT

C.G.S.A. § 7-51

 

The registrar and the department may waive the fee for the issuance of a certified copy of the certificate of birth of a homeless youth to such youth under this subsection.

C.G.S.A. § 1-1h

 

The commissioner may waive the fee for any applicant… who is a resident of a homeless shelter or other facility for homeless persons or a certified homeless youth or certified homeless young adult.

 

N/A

C.G.S.A. § 7-51

 

The department and registrars of vital statistics shall restrict access to and issuance of a certified copy of birth and fetal death records and certificates less than one hundred years old, to the following eligible parties: (A) The person whose birth is recorded, if such person is … (ii) a certified homeless youth, as defined in section 7-36… …The registrar and the department may waive the fee for the issuance of a certified copy of the certificate of birth of a homeless youth to such youth under this subsection.

DE N/A N/A N/A N/A
DC

29 DCMR § 2880.2

 

An individual experiencing homelessness may have the fee that would normally apply to obtain a certified copy of a birth certificate waived.

18 DCMR § 112

 

The special identification card shall only be issued to residents of the District over age fifteen (15). Residents of the District of Columbia without a fixed, regular District residence as determined by the Department of Human Services shall be exempt from paying a fee for a special identification card.

N/A N/A
FL

HB 1577 and SB 1708

 

Waives fees for certified copies of a birth certificate for certified homeless youth and young adults who aged out of foster care.

 HB 1577 and SB 1708

 

Can apply at no charge for an ID card issues by the Dept. of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

HB 1577 and SB 1708

 

Expands the Keys to- Independence program that provides assistance with the costs of driver education, licensure, and motor vehicle insurance to children in foster care to include certified homeless youth who meet certain requirements.

An unaccompanied homeless youth may receive a certified copy of his or her birth certificate at no charge under s. 382.0255.

 

GA N/A

GA ST § 40-5-103

 

The department shall collect a fee of $5.00 for the identification card for all persons who are referred by a nonprofit organization which organization has entered into an agreement with the department whereby such organization verifies that the individual applying for such identification card is indigent. (Not a waiver of the fee but a reduction from $20 to $5.)

N/A

Georgia Administrative Code Rule 375-3-1-.34

All youth under the age of 18 are required to have their application for an instruction permit, ID card, or Driver’s License verified by a responsible adult. For homeless unaccompanied minors a responsible adult can be (a) an employee of the homeless shelter where the applicant has resided (b) a social worker that has worked with or assisted the applicant, (c) any other adult whose identity can be verified by a state agency or official school official or documentation from a federal government agency.

 

HI

HI ST § 338-14

 

The department shall furnish, free of charge:

A certification of birth to any individual who is homeless; provided that the individual’s homeless status is corroborated by a verification letter issued by a homeless service provider.

 

 

HI ST § 286-309

 

The rules shall: …

(2) Direct the examiner of drivers to waive all fees for the issuance of an original or renewal identification card for any individual who is homeless; provided the individual’s homeless status is corroborated by a verification letter issued by a homeless service provider.

N/A

HI ST § 338-13

 

Subject to the requirements of sections 338-16, 338-17, and 338-18, the department of health shall, upon request, furnish to any applicant a certified copy of any certificate, or the contents of any certificate, or any part thereof. (338-18 states that records can be released to the registrant or any person or agency acting on their behalf.)

ID N/A N/A N/A

  ID ADC 16.05.01.283

 

Individuals who request access to, information from, or copies of vital records must present a signed application on forms provided or approved by the Registrar, and a copy of the front and back of signed photo identification or such other information as the Registrar requests. Minors who are less than fourteen (14) years old may receive certified copies of vital records that pertain to them if they present the required information.

IL

IL ST CH 410 § 535/25.3

 

For the purposes of this Section, an individual’s status as a homeless person may be verified by a human services agency, legal services agency, or other similar agency that has knowledge of the individual’s housing status, including, but not limited to:

(1) a homeless service agency receiving federal, State, county, or municipal funding to provide those services or otherwise sanctioned by a local continuum of care;

(2) an attorney licensed to practice in the State;

(3) a public school homeless liaison or school social worker; or

(4) a human services provider funded by the State to serve homeless or runaway youth, individuals with mental illness, or individuals with addictions.

 

Individuals who are homeless must not be charged for this verification.

(If the person is under 18 a guardian is required to make the request.)

92 IL ADC 1030.12

 

An applicant for an identification card who otherwise qualifies for an identification card and who submits a completed homeless status certification, completed no longer than 90 days before the date of application, shall be issued an identification card at no cost.

 

N/A N/A
IN

IC 16-37-1-9

 

A charge may not be made for furnishing a certificate of birth to an individual who represents, pursuant to IC 31-36-3-4(b) , a homeless youth (as defined in IC 31-36-3-4 ) and presents a fee and consent waiver affidavit described in IC 31-36-3-4(c).

 

IC 9-24-16-10

 

An identification card must be issued without the payment of a fee or charge to an individual who does not have a valid Indiana driver’s license if the individual:

(1) will be at least eighteen (18) years of age and eligible to vote in the next general, municipal, or special election;

(2) is:

(A) at least sixteen (16) years of age; and

(B) under the care and supervision of the department of child services; or

(3) represents, pursuant to IC 31-36-3-4(b), a homeless youth (as defined in IC 31-36-3-4) and presents a fee and consent waiver affidavit described in IC 31-36-3-4(c).

IC 9-24-3-1

 

A fee described in subsection (a)(4) may not be charged to an individual who:

(2) represents, pursuant to IC 31-36-3-4(b), a homeless youth (as defined in IC 31-36-3-4) and presents a fee and consent waiver affidavit described in IC 31-36-3-4(c);

and meets all other requirements for a driver’s license under this article.

IC 31-36-3-4

 

An individual identified in subsection (c)(3) who presents a fee and consent waiver affidavit described in subsection (c) on behalf of a homeless youth to the appropriate agency or entity shall:

(1) have access, without charge and the consent of a parent, guardian, or custodian, to the homeless youth’s:

(A) certificate of birth;

(B) photo identification card under IC 9-24-16-10(c);  and

(C) Indiana driver’s license.

 

IA N/A N/A N/A N/A
KS N/A

KS Stat § 8-1324

 

The division shall not require or accept payment of application or photo fees under this subsection for any person 17 years of age or older for purposes of meeting the voter identification requirements of K.S.A. 25-2908, and amendments thereto.

N/A

KS Stat § 65-2418

 

The secretary shall not charge or accept any fee for a certified copy of a birth certificate if the certificate is requested by any person who is 17 years of age or older for purposes of voting if the applicant lacks the identification required by K.S.A. 25-2908(h), and amendments thereto, or to meet the voter registration requirements of K.S.A. 25-2309, and amendments thereto.

KY

KY Rev Stat § 213.141

 

No fee or compensation shall be allowed or paid for furnishing a certificate of birth to a homeless individual as defined by KRS 198A.700, including a minor who is a homeless individual, provided the homeless individual is under twenty-five (25) years of age and has been verified as a homeless child or youth.

N/A N/A The fee waiver statute implies that minors can access their birth certificates.
LA N/A N/A

LA R.S. 32:403

 

No fee shall be collected from any child who is in foster care, as defined in Article 603 of the Louisiana Children’s Code.

 

 

N/A
ME N/A N/A N/A N/A
MD

MD HEALTH GEN § 4-217

 

The Department may not collect a fee for a certified or an abridged copy of a birth certificate issued to a homeless individual.

 

N/A N/A N/A
MA N/A N/A N/A N/A
MI

M.C.L.A. 333.2891

 

On receipt of a formal application, the state registrar shall conduct a search for and furnish to an individual 1 certified copy of the individual’s vital record, without charge, if the individual presents all of the following to the state registrar:

(a) A homeless verification letter that states that the individual meets the definition of category 1 homeless as that term is defined by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. A verification letter provided under this subdivision must be submitted on the official letterhead of a public service agency. The department may verify the information contained in the letter with the agency of issuance before issuing a certified copy of the vital record.

(b) A photo identification card for the individual that is generated from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development homeless management information system.

(c) Any information required by the state registrar under subsection (3).

M.C.L.A. 28.292

 

The secretary of state shall waive the fee under this section if the applicant is any of the following:

An individual who presents both of the following:

(i) A homeless verification letter that states that the individual meets the definition of category 1 homeless as that term is defined by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. A letter provided as evidence under this subparagraph must be submitted on the official letterhead of a public service agency. The secretary of state may verify the information contained in the letter with the agency of issuance before issuing an official state personal identification card.

(ii) A photo identification card generated from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development Homeless Management Information System.

 

 

N/A N/A
MN

M.S.A. § 144.226

 

A subject of a birth record who is a homeless youth shall not be charged any of the fees specified in this section for a certified birth record or statement of no vital record found under section 144.2255.

N/A N/A

M.S.A. § 144.2255

 

A subject of a birth record who is a homeless youth in Minnesota or another state may apply to the state registrar or a local issuance office for a certified birth record according to this section. The state registrar or local issuance office shall issue a certified birth record or statement of no vital record found to a subject of a birth record who submits:

(1) a completed application signed by the subject of the birth record;

(2) a statement that the subject of the birth record is a homeless youth, signed by the subject of the birth record; and

(3) one of the following:

(i) a document of identity listed in Minnesota Rules, part 4601.2600, subpart 8, or, at the discretion of the state registrar or local issuance office, Minnesota Rules, part 4601.2600, subpart 9;

(ii) a statement that complies with Minnesota Rules, part 4601.2600, subparts 6 and 7; or

(iii) a statement verifying that the subject of the birth record is a homeless youth that complies with the requirements in subdivision 2 and is from an employee of a human services agency that receives public funding to provide services to homeless youth, runaway youth, youth with mental illness, or youth with substance use disorders; a school staff person who provides services to homeless youth; or a school social worker.

MS N/A N/A N/A N/A
MO

MO Rev Stat § 193.265

 

No fee under this section shall be required or collected from a parent or guardian of a homeless child or homeless youth, as defined in subsection 1 of section 167.020, or an unaccompanied youth, as defined in 42 U.S.C. Section 11434a(6), for the issuance of a certification, or copy of such certification, of birth of such child or youth.

N/A N/A

MO Rev Stat § 193.265

 

An unaccompanied youth shall be eligible to receive a certification or copy of his or her own birth record without the consent or signature of his or her parent or guardian.

 

MT N/A N/A N/A MT Code Ann. 50-15-121
The registrant (with no age restrictions) shall be provided a certified copy or copies of a vital record, including birth certificate.
NE N/A N/A N/A N/A
NV

NV Rev Stat § 440.700

 

The State Registrar shall not charge a fee for furnishing a certified copy of a record of birth to:

(a) A homeless person, including, without limitation, a homeless child or youth, who submits a signed affidavit on a form prescribed by the State Registrar stating that the person is homeless.

(c) A staff person of a local educational agency who has been designated pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 11432(g)(1)(J)(ii) for a certified copy of a record of birth of a homeless child or youth who is enrolled in the local educational agency.

(d) A social worker licensed to practice in this State, for a certified copy of a record of birth of a homeless child or youth who is a client of the social worker.

NV Rev Stat § 483.825

 

The Department shall waive the fee prescribed by NRS 483.820 and the increase in the fee required by NRS 483.347 not more than one time for furnishing a duplicate identification card to:

(a) A homeless person who submits a signed affidavit on a form prescribed by the Department stating that the person is homeless.

The Department shall waive the fee prescribed by NRS 483.820, the increase in the fee required by NRS 483.347 and the reimbursement required by subsection 3 not more than one time for furnishing an original identification card or a duplicate identification card to a homeless child or youth under the age of 25 years who submits a signed affidavit on a form prescribed by the Department stating that the child or youth is homeless and under the age of 25 years.

NV Rev Stat § 483.417

 

The Department shall waive the fee prescribed by NRS 483.410 and the increase in the fee required by NRS 483.347 not more than one time for furnishing a duplicate driver’s license to:

(a) A homeless person who submits a signed affidavit on a form prescribed by the Department stating that the person is homeless.

The Department shall waive the fee prescribed by NRS 483.410, the increase in the fee required by NRS 483.347 and the reimbursement required by subsection 3 not more than one time for furnishing an original driver’s license or a duplicate driver’s license to a homeless child or youth under the age of 25 years who submits a signed affidavit on a form prescribed by the Department stating that the child or youth is homeless and under the age of 25 years.

 

 

NV Rev Stat § 440.700

 

Upon the request of any parent or guardian or an unaccompanied youth, the State Registrar shall supply, without the payment of a fee, a certificate limited to a statement as to the date of birth of any child or of the unaccompanied youth as disclosed by the record of such birth when the certificate is necessary for admission to school or for securing employment.

 

NH N/A N/A N/A N/A
NJ

NJ Rev Stat § 26:8-63

 

The State registrar shall:

Furnish without fee upon request by a person who is homeless a certified copy of the person’s birth certificate, provided that the person submits the request through a social worker or the coordinator of the emergency shelter for the homeless where the person is temporarily residing.

NJ Rev Stat § 39:3-29.7

 

The chief administrator may waive the fees established under subsection a. of this section for a person who is homeless who submits proof of temporary residence through a social worker or the coordinator of an emergency shelter for the homeless where the person is temporarily residing.

 

N/A N/A
NM

NM Stat § 24-14-29

 

A fee shall not be charged for a certified copy of a birth certificate of a homeless individual.

 

 

 

N/A

 

N/A

NM Stat § 24-14-28

 

The state registrar shall, upon receipt of a written application from an unaccompanied youth, issue a certified copy of that youth’s birth record to the youth, without requiring a signature of an adult.

B. A local education agency homeless liaison, a school counselor and a school nurse each have a tangible and direct interest pursuant to Subsection A of this section in a certified copy of the birth record of a homeless child or youth who is enrolled in the local education agency and in a certified copy of the birth record of a younger sibling of a homeless child or youth who is enrolled in the local education agency.

C. A social worker in this state has a tangible and direct interest pursuant to Subsection A of this section in a:

(1)     certified copy of the birth record of a homeless child or youth who is a client of the social worker; and

(2)     certified copy of the birth record of a younger sibling of a homeless child or youth who is a client of the social worker.

NY N/A N/A N/A N/A
NC N/A

NC Gen Stat § 20-37.7

 

To obtain a special identification card without paying a fee, a homeless person must present a letter to the Division from the director of a facility that provides care or shelter to homeless persons verifying that the person is homeless.

 

N/A N/A
ND N/A N/A N/A

NDCC, 23-02.1-27

 

A certified copy of a birth record may be issued to the individual named on the record if that individual is at least sixteen years old, to a parent named on the record, to an authorized representative, or by the order of a court of competent jurisdiction.

OH N/A N/A N/A According to the Ohio Department of Health Office of Vital Statistics Records Request Instructions, all vital statistics are public record in Ohio and anyone who can “submit the basic facts of a certificate may request a copy.”
OK N/A N/A N/A N/A
OR

O.R.S. § 432.450

 

The Oregon Health Authority shall establish a grant program for the purpose of allowing an individual who is homeless to obtain a certified copy of the individual’s record of live birth at a reduced rate or free of charge.

OAR 735-062-0133

 

Except for the additional fee for a REAL ID identification card described section (2) of this rule, DMV will not charge a qualified applicant a fee to issue or renew a REAL ID or non-REAL ID identification card if the applicant is experiencing homelessness.

N/A

O.R.S. § 432.380

 

Evidence of eligibility must demonstrate that the applicant is qualified to receive a certified copy. To be qualified, an applicant must be:

Eighteen years of age or older or an emancipated minor or, if the applicant is requesting to receive a certified copy of the applicant’s own record of live birth, 15 years of age or older.

PA N/A N/A N/A N/A
RI N/A N/A N/A N/A
SC N/A

SC Code § 56-1-3350

 

One identification card must be issued free to a person aged seventeen years or older per issuance cycle.

N/A N/A
SD N/A N/A N/A N/A
TN N/A N/A N/A N/A
TX

Texas Health and Safety Code §191.0049

A birth certificate must be issued without fee to a homeless child or youth as defined by 42 U.S.C. Section 11434a.

TX TRANSP § 521.1015

(b) This section applies to the application for a personal identification certificate only for a foster child or youth or a homeless child or youth.

(e) The department shall exempt a child or youth described by Subsection (b) from the payment of any fee for the issuance of a personal identification certificate under this chapter.

TX TRANSP § 521.1811

A person is exempt from the payment of any fee for the issuance of a driver’s license, as provided under this chapter, if that person is:

(3) a homeless child or youth as defined by 42 U.S.C. Section 11434a;

 

TX TRANSP § 521.1015

A homeless child or youth as defined by 42 U.S.C. Section 11434a may apply for and the department may issue a personal identification certificate without the signature or presence of or permission from a parent or guardian of the child or youth.

Texas Health and Safety Code §191.0049

A birth certificate must be issued without parental consent to a homeless child or youth as defined by 42 U.S.C. Section 11434a.

 

 

UT

UT ST § 26-2-12.6

 

The department shall waive a fee that would otherwise be charged for a certified copy of a birth certificate, if the individual whose birth is confirmed by the birth certificate is:

(a) the individual requesting the certified copy of the birth certificate; and

(b)

(i) homeless, as defined in Section 26-18-411;

(ii) a person who is homeless, as defined in Section 35A-5-302;

(iii) an individual whose primary nighttime residence is a location that is not designed for or ordinarily used as a sleeping accommodation for an individual;

(iv) a homeless service provider as verified by the Department of Workforce Services; or

(v) a homeless child or youth, as defined in 42 U.S.C. Sec. 11434a.

UT ST § 53-3-105

 

A fee may not be charged for an identification card application if the individual applying:

(i)(A) has not been issued a Utah driver license;

(B) is indigent; and

(C) is at least 18 years of age; or

(ii) submits written verification that the individual is homeless, as defined in Section 26-18-411, a person who is homeless, as defined in Section 35A-5-302, or a child or youth who is homeless.

N/A

UT ST § 26-2-12.6

 

In addition to waiving fees, this statute appears to allow homeless youths to request their own records.

VT N/A N/A N/A N/A
VA N/A N/A N/A N/A
WA

RCWA 70.58A.560

 

The department may not charge a fee for issuing a birth certification for homeless persons.

N/A N/A N/A
WV N/A N/A N/A N/A
WI N/A N/A N/A N/A
WY N/A N/A N/A N/A

 

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