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Employees must have documentation to show their employer that establishes both identity and employment authorization, such as a State ID and Birth Certificate or Social Security Card. Having an ID is also important to access other services such as housing, medical care, public benefits, transportation, banking, and more. For some housing applications, you will need an ID, Social Security Card and Birth Certificate, as well as proof of income. Below is a helpful guide to obtaining your ID card, birth certificate, and social security card.

Documentation Checklist

  • State ID (California ID needed for housing applications

  • Birth Certificate

  • Social Security Card

  • Tribal ID Card (If you are a tribal member)

  • Voter's registration (optional)

  • Selective Service Registration (males only)

Other Important Identification

Tribal ID Card

If you are a tribal member, obtaining a tribal ID card will show proof of your enrollment and membership in the tribe, but may not be valid proof of identity for every purpose. Enrollment in a tribe and obtaining your tribal ID card will help you to gain access to the public benefits your tribe offers to members. Visit this site for more information on how to obtain a tribal ID card.

Registering to Vote

Voting is a meaningful way to express your beliefs regarding the laws and decision-making in your community and help effect change. The requirements to register to vote are that you must be a California resident and U.S. citizen, and over 18 years old. Unless you are currently incarcerated or actively on state parole, you are eligible to vote. Even if you are on probation or another form of community supervision, you can still vote. You can register at this website, up to 15 days before the next local, state or federal election. If you have voted in the past, you will not need to show any documents. If you have never voted, you will need some form of ID including: state ID number, Social Security Number, military ID, student ID, prison ID, utility bill, and/or public benefits check. You do not need an address to register.


Selective Service System

All men ages 18-25 living in the U.S. must register with the Selective Service before turning 26 unless you meet one of the legal exceptions. This is a registration list that tracks all men eligible to be drafted in case of a military emergency. There are very heavy fines for not registering, and a possibility of prison time and being denied government benefits. You do not need a SSN to register. If you are unsure of whether you are registered, you can check at and will need to enter your SSN. You can register online at You can also register by mail by obtaining a registration form at any U.S. Post Office or many high schools and mailing it to Selective Service System, P.O. Box 94638, Palatine, IL 60094-4638.


  • Men who are incarcerated (if you are 25 or younger at the time of release you must register within 30 days of getting out)

  • People with a mental or physical disability that prevents them from functioning in public, with or without assistance

  • People who have been confined continuously to a residence, hospital or institution from age 18 – 25

  • Lawful non-immigrants with visas in the U.S.

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