A driver’s license is issued by the state where you live. It has two uses:
- Allows you to drive a vehicle
- Serves as an identification document (ID)
In most states you need to be about 16 years old to get a driver’s license. You may be able to get temporary items like a learner’s permit before you reach legal driving age.
If you can not get a driver’s license, you might be able to get a state identification card from the state where you live. In many US states, the place that issues driver’s licenses will issue an ID card to a person of any age. If you can get a driver’s license, you do not need a state ID.
In addition to state issued ID, you can also get a federal ID like a passport.
Because some things like renting a post office box need two pieces of ID, a US passport and a state-issued ID card are both good to have.
The name on your state ID will probably need to match your legal name. That is the name on your birth certificate. If you want to have a driver’s license with your chosen name, you may need to get a legal name change first. Some states let some people use their chosen name on their driver’s license, but the law is different in each state.
National Center for Transgender Equality (transequality.org)
- Identification Documents and Transgender People (PDF)