I am an American citizen living in California. I am looking to travel out of the country to visit family and this will be my first time doing so. I don't currently have a passport and of course need one. My State ID (don't have driver's license) expired this year on my birthday and I have just gone to the DMV to renew it and got the temporary paper ID.

Can I start the passport process with the paper ID and my expired ID or do I have to wait for the new one? I would love to start the passport process as soon as possible since it takes a while and I prefer not to pay for an online agent to rush it for me (since I do not live near an office). I can afford the $60 to get it in 2-3 weeks but still would like to start it at the earliest.

2 Answers 2


You can see the ID requirements for a passport at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/requirements/identification.html.

It sounds like you don't have any of the documents from the "Primary ID" list (e.g. a valid driver's license with photo). So look down to the "Secondary ID" list. You would need two documents from this list, which includes:

  • Temporary driver's license (without a photo)
  • Expired driver's license

Technically, you don't have these, but in almost all contexts "non-driver ID" is a substitute for "driver's license", so I'd assume that your combination would be accepted. But if you have more of the documents from that list, you could bring them too. (Note the requirement that you should also bring along photocopies.)

Keep in mind, as RoboKaren mentions, that you will also need to bring evidence of citizenship; your driver's license(s) do not establish that. You say you've never been out of the country, so I assume you were born in the US; then your birth certificate (or official copy with seal) would do.


Your state ID only serves as your proof of identity. You’ll also need proof of citizenship which would be a birth certificate or naturalization certificate.

Following documents are required to apply for US passport:
• Application Form DS-11.
• Proof of US citizenship using US birth certificate or Naturalization Certificate.
• Proof of identity such as passport, naturalization certificate, certificate of citizenship, current valid driver's license. ...
• 2 passport photos. ...
• Application fee.

Assuming you have proof of citizenship, the easiest thing to do is to go to a passport center (such as a post office that does passports) and ask if they’ll take your expired id + renewal certificate as evidence of proof of identification. That way if they say no, then you don’t have to pay anything.

If you have any other government ID such as military ID, global entry, nexus card, etc etc, I would bring it.

  • 1
    There are other possibilities for proof of citizenship, notably a consular report of birth abroad. That obviously would not apply in this case, but deserves mention for the general case.
    – phoog
    Commented Oct 4, 2018 at 13:54

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