Need some advice regarding forms of ID.

My old citizencard ID isn't working in as many places as it used to. Whether it's because it's coming up to the sort of time at which I technically should renew it or because citizencard's always been a little hit or miss (it's legitimate, part of the PASS logo program in the uk, just not very widely known), and in the end, all drives to get it more widely recognized have failed, I don't know. All I know is that for someone who gets nervous easily like me, it's stopping me going out much.

Ideally, I don't wish to renew the citizencard. For one, like I said, it's been hit or miss. For years I've had faith that people would come round, realise that not everyone wants to carry around important documentation like drivers licenses and especially passports, doubly so when booze is involved, but it seems they've failed in their promise of making it a form of ID as widley accepted as any other. For a second thing, they use an online form for it that must be completed then printed off. I own no printer of my own, so that means temporarily giving away a document containing important information to a public network. Always a bad idea.

For another, I read their T and C again, and it says basically that they can refuse an application and do not refund money given for that application, and more importantly, they have no obligation legally to tell me why it was rejected. In theory, they could mess with me again and again. Each standard application takes a month, and costs £9. Not much on its own, but if I'm forced to try multiple times, the time and money wasted could be pretty bad.

So I have two other options. Two other real options. There are other PASS logo cards available, but they are even less well known than citizencard. I doubt they work anywhere. One is a provisional drivers license. These are, originally, given as a license for people to use while they are learning to drive, but it has become a solid way of proving identity and age too. The problem with this is that I wear glasses and have aspergers syndrome. I fear these two medical factors will make applying for that a nightmare, requiring assessments, tests, doctors notes...a whole mess of hassle. Not to mention that it probably requires a referee. These are usually ridiculously specific. They must be over a certain age, within a list of "trusted professions" and they must have known you for at least two years.

The other option is a passport. This has the advantage that I may actually want to use it for something else than mere ID. I don't hope to learn to drive, I see that as far too much responsibility put in my hands. Besides petrol and road tax is ridiculous these days, there's no way I can afford to drive anyway. I don't plan on leaving the country, but it'd be nice to actually have the option if I wanted to hop over the channel for something. That also has the problem of referees, and I think it's more expensive than a drivers license too.

That said, I'm not sure on the sepcifics of either. How long they take, how much of a nightmare the forms are, how much they cost, and how likely the government are to take the opportunity to con me out of some money, like the T and C of the citizencard suggests they might.

So, any advice?

Passport sounds easily like the simplest of solutions. It does have the penalty of being more expensive, but you've got to learn to make sacrifices. If the PASS thing isn't accepted very much, you can't get a driver's license/don't want to, etc. then you'll just have to accept the burden of paying a little more for being able to do the things you want to do.

Plus, like you said, you'll have the additional benefit of traveling the channel. If the money is too much for you at the moment, possibly ask a parent or guardian (whether or not you still live with them; just that you know them) if you can borrow some money for it, and pay them back later when you can.

That's the best advice I can give you. However, I'm also an American, so my knowledge of the UK is very limited.

I actually lived with nothing but a passport as ID for several years (here in the US) and I have to recommend that you get more than just that. Carrying a passport is dangerous. It's expensive to replace if lost or stolen (highly valued on black markets everywhere), plus it tends to get damaged. I don't know how they do it in the UK, but the US passports now contain RFID chips in them, which might get damaged if you keep them in your pocket or however you carry it.

My advice is get as many different forms of ID that you need--NOW.

Think of it this way:

Is it easier to get an ID card if you have OTHER ID cards as proof or LESS ID cards?

I'll make this short and sweet - get a provisional driver's license. Whether you ever plan on driving is irrelevant.


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