Specifically Mentioned Identification Documents --
U.S.C. § 1028
Section 1028 of Title 18 designates three special non-federal
identification documents and gives them preferred treatment. These three
documents, in the absence of a national identity card, are the prime means
which an individual establishes his identity in the United States. The
documents are: (A) birth certificate; (B) driver's license; and (C)
- "Birth Certificate" is not defined in 18 U.S.C. § 1028
since it is self-explanatory. This document is issued by different agencies
different states and foreign countries. Nevertheless, it represents the
governmental statement by the proper government agency that a person having
a name was born on a particular date in a particular place of specific
Obviously, a birth certificate is not intended to actually identify the
who claims such a document pertains to him. There are few physical
characteristics that remain the same as those at the time of birth.
Nevertheless, the birth certificate has become "commonly accepted" as an
identification document in this country.
- "Driver's License" is not defined in 18 U.S.C. § 1028. The
purpose of this government issued document was to state that a particular
was authorized to operate a vehicle upon the public roadways. It was not
intended to establish one's identity. Because of the absence of a better
document, however, the driver's license eventually has become "commonly
as the "national identity card." Section 1028 covers both domestic as well
foreign government issued driver's licenses.
- "Personal Identification Card" is defined in 18 U.S.C.
mean "an identification document issued by a State or local government
the purpose of identification . . . . "This definition would appear to limit
documents to those issued by domestic (i.e., within the United States)
governmental entities in contrast to the first two (birth certificates and
driver's licenses). This document is normally issued by state departments
motor vehicles to provide an identification document for those persons who
for some reason obtain a driver's license. In 1979, the National Committee
Uniform Traffic Laws and Ordinances, authors of the Uniform Vehicle Code
provided for the issuance of identification cards for non-drivers and
restrictions on the unlawful use of such cards. The UVC, which serves as
model state code for vehicular matters, defines a "personal identification
as "a document issued by the department [of motor vehicles] for the sole
of identifying the bearer and not authorized for use as a driver's license."
§ 1-156 (1987).
[cited in USAM 9-64.400]