Always check the exact language of the rules themselves available on the Department of Revenue’s website.

U.S. Passport Card Frequently Asked Questions

Where do I find vital records in other states?
Click here.

How do I get a Colorado ID?

To be issued a Colorado ID or driver’s license, you must prove the following four elements: full legal name, date of birth, identity, and lawful presence in the U.S. In some cases, a single “stand alone” document may prove all four elements. If you do not have one of the acceptable stand alone documents, you will have to provide other documents in order to satisfy all the required elements. All documents presented must be certified originals, certified amended originals or true copies certified by the issuing agency.

What are some examples of “stand alone” documents?

  • U.S. passport with full legal name (unexpired)
  • Colorado ID or driver’s license (current or expired less than 10 years, lawful presence and Social Security number already on file with DMV)
  • Out-of-state ID or driver’s license with enhancement indicator
  • Foreign passport with a photo in conjunction with appropriate visa or other immigration documents
  • Certificate of Naturalization or Certificate of Citizenship with a photo (less than 20 years old)
  • I-551 (Legal Permanent Resident card, or “green card”) or I-94 (Entry/Departure Record) with refugee or asylee status or Employment Authorization Document including I-766, I-688, I-688A and I-688B. All documents must be verified by SAVE and where appropriate containing a photo taken within last 20 years.
  • See the DMV Identification Requirements

Do I have to prove anything else besides name, date of birth, identity, and lawful presence?

Yes. You will also need to provide proof of your Social Security number and your Colorado residency. To verify your Social Security number, you will need to provide one of the following:

  • Social Security card (not laminated)
  • W-2 Form
  • SSA-1099 Form
  • Non-SSA-1099 Form
  • Pay stub with your name and full Social Security number
  • Military ID or Common Access Card expired less than 10 years
  • DD214
  • Letter from Social Security Administration, must have second page (SSNAP report) that includes number

To prove your residency, you need to provide two of the following that include your name, address, and are dated within the last year:

  • Colorado driver’s license, permit, or ID card with current address
  • Utility bill, phone bill, lease agreement, or rental receipt in your name
  • First class mail with postmark
  • Credit card, bank, or mortgage statement
  • Transcript/report card
  • Insurance policy
  • Tax document
  • Pay stub
  • Vehicle registration or title

In lieu of two of the above documents, you may also provide one letter from a local shelter or social agency stating that you currently reside or receive mail there.

Which states require proof of lawful status, or are considered “lawful presence states” by Colorado?

Each state is permitted to craft its own version of the REAL ID Act, so there is some variety across states. Not every state is currently offering a REAL ID-compliant ID yet. Some states offer two tiers of ID: one that has verified lawful presence, and one that has not verified lawful presence or identity. The non-compliant IDs are usually marked with “NOT FOR FEDERAL USE” or “NOT FOR FEDERAL IDENTIFICATION” on the face of the card. It varies greatly by state, so you should check with each specific state’s DMV. Colorado offers a special ID/driver’s license to people who cannot document their lawful presence or only have temporary lawful presence with an ID card marked “NOT VALID FOR FEDERAL IDENTIFICATION, VOTING, OR PUBLIC BENEFIT PURPOSES.” More information about eligibility for licenses and IDs for immigrants available here. The most important thing to note is that if you have an out of state ID or driver’s license that says “NOT FOR FEDERAL USE” or “NOT FOR FEDERAL IDENTIFICATION” you may have to submit additional documentation besides your out of state ID, birth certificate, and Social Security card.

What if I don’t have a “stand alone” document? 

If you do not have a “stand alone” document, then you can use a combination of other documents to prove full legal name, age, identity, and lawful presence in the U.S. in accordance with the DMV Identification Requirements matrix.

What are some examples of documents that prove full legal name, age, and identity? Note: these documents do not show lawful presence.

  • Colorado ID or driver’s license expired less than 10 years
  • Out-of-state ID or driver’s license that is REAL ID-compliant
  • US passport expired less than 10 years
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs ID with a photo taken in the last 20 years
  • Military ID or Common Access Card (CAC) with a photo and not expired or expired less than 10 years
  • Veterans Administration card with photo taken in the last 20 years
  • Department of Corrections ID or Federal Bureau of Prisons ID
  • Affidavit signed by parent or legal guardian if applicant is under 21 years old (affiant must provide identification and proof of relationship)
  • See DMV Identification Requirements

What if my name is different from what is on my birth certificate? 

Your full legal name is the name on your birth certificate, unless it has been changed by court order, marriage, divorce, or adoption. A certified copy of a marriage license or certificate, divorce decree, separation decree, adoption order, or name change order issued by a state or federal court may be used to prove a name change.  If you never obtained a legal name change and your names on your supporting documents don’t match, you may need to consider a legal name change.

What are some examples of documents that prove lawful presence in the U.S.?

  • Certified original or certified amended birth certificate issued by state, county, parish, borough, the District of Columbia or the Department of State
  • Certificate of Naturalization or Certificate of Citizenship with photo (20 years old or more)
  • Certified order of adoption with birth information
  • I-94 with refugee or asylee status that does not contain a photo and verified by SAVE (Note: if your I-94 contains a photo and the USCIS seal, then it likely works as a stand alone document)

What is a Notice of Incomplete Application?

A Notice of Incomplete Application must be provided if the DMV determines that an applicant has failed to provide sufficient documentary proof to obtain an ID or driver’s license. This Notice must include the reason for the decision. An applicant then has the opportunity to return with additional documentation prior to being denied, and go through Exception Processing.

What is Exception Processing (“EP”)?

Individuals who cannot provide adequate documentation (as outlined above) may request Exception Processing administered by the Motor Vehicles Investigations Unit. After being issued a Notice of Incomplete Application you can qualify to go through EP. Additional documents that may be considered in the process. A more detailed list of acceptable EP documents is available here.

The applicant must cooperate in obtaining the validation including signing any authorization required by the issuing agency. Also, there is no fee for Exceptions Processing beyond the regular fee for an ID.  The DMV has more information about Exception Processing.

Not every DMV location does Exceptions Processing. For a list of locations that do, check the DMV website. If the location closest to you does not handle Exceptions Processing cases on site, then they may have to send your documents to another office for review and the process may take longer.

What is a Notice of Denial?

A notice of Denial can be issued after a Notice of Incomplete Application when the applicant is still unable to provide sufficient documentation or after an unfavorable decision under the Exceptions Process.

Are there any options after receiving a Notice of Denial?

Denied applicants can file a written request for an administrative hearing. A hearing request form should be included with the Notice of Denial. The hearing request form must be filed within 30 days of the denial. If you miss the 30 day appeal window, you must reapply and be denied again to have a valid basis for appeal. A hearing officer decides whether the applicant has met the documentation requirements under the statute and rules. A written decision shall be provided within 15 business days after the hearing. If the decision is favorable, the denial shall be rescinded. If the denial is sustained, the applicant can petition for judicial review in District Court within 30 days of the hearing officer’s decision.


What does the law provide?
Effective August 1, 2006, all applicants and recipients for public benefits in the State of Colorado must prove their “lawful presence in the United States” at application or redetermination.

Who is exempt from this requirement?
Anyone under the age of 18 years.

What public benefits programs are included in HB 1023?
TANF/Colorado Works, Colorado Indigent Care Program (CICP), LEAP, Old Age Pension (OAP), Aid to the Needy Disabled (AND), CHP+ (for those over 18 and pregnant women), and others.

What public benefits programs are excluded from HB 1023?
Medicaid, food stamps, child care, child support, child welfare, refugee services, emergency medical care, disaster relief, immunizations, soup kitchens, crisis counseling, programs exempt from a citizenship verification requirement under federal law, etc.

How can individuals comply with HB 1023?
Applicants/recipients must provide both a signed affidavit AND an acceptable form of identification. The affidavit must state that he or she is a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident OR that he or she is otherwise lawfully present in the United States pursuant to federal law. State agencies have an affidavit to form for clients to sign. The affidavit does not have to be notarized.

What documents does HB 1023 require to prove identification?
Only the following four documents were specifically listed in the new law: 1) a valid Colorado driver’s license or identification card; 2) a United States military card or military dependent’s card; 3) a U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner card; or 4) a Native American tribal document.

Has the list of four documents been supplemented?
Yes. The Colorado Department of Revenue (DOR) has expanded the list of acceptable documents to include: a certificate verifying naturalized status, a certificate verifying U.S. citizenship, a valid driver’s licensr or state ID that verify lawful presence, and valid immigration documents verified through the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program.

What is the SAVE program?
All non-citizen applicants/recipients must now have their immigration documents verified through the Systemmatic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program administered by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (U.S. CIS) of the Department of Homeland Security.

What is the waiver process under HB 1023 and to whom is it available?
Individuals who cannot provide the required lawful presence documentation may request a waiver of the statute’s provisions in order to receive public benefits while attempting to obtain the documents, Individuals should provide DOR with all available citizenship documentation along with their affidavit and the waiver form. Both the affidavit and the waiver forms are available on the Department of Revenue’s website. The waiver determination will be entered into the computer by DOR staff through an “Electronic Identification Indicator” (EII). The social services worker can than access the EII determination.

How much time is allowed to provide this documentation?
Human Services and Health Care Policy and Financing only allow documentation to be presented within 10 business days or the application will be denied or beneftis terminated. If documentation is provided within 10 weeks of the denial or termination, the client will be made eligible back to the date of the application.

How quickly must the DOR make a decision approving or denying the waiver?
The DOR must do so within one business day of receipt of the response from federal databases or other verifying entities. Information as to the waiver decision shall be made available to the benefit agency, if known.

Why would a request for a waiver be denied?

A request for a waiver may be denied for the following reasons:

  1. The SAVE system is unable to verify a person’s lawful presence.
  2. The DOR reasonably believes the documents provided have been tampered with, altered, or are not genuine.
  3. The documents provided are inconsistent and the applicant is unable to explain the inconsistencies.

Do waivers expire?
No, waivers do not expire. However, they may be rescinded, cancelled if the DOR becomes aware of any possible violation of immigration laws.