Identification:  Proving Who You Are

Now that you are 18, you will have many new and exciting experiences with businesses, employers, and public agencies in the local, state, and federal government.  Because these people may not have met you before, they may ask you to prove who you are.  The two most common ways to prove your identity are to show either a Delaware driver’s license or a Delaware state identification card.  Without one of these official forms of identification, you may miss out on many valuable benefits or experience much more difficulty in accessing them.  You can apply for either a Delaware driver’s license (approximately $25) or a Delaware state identification card (approximately $20) at one of the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles offices.  More information on how to obtain either type of identification is provided below.

Obtaining a State Identification Card

If you are not going to be driving, you will still need to get a Delaware state identification card.  You can obtain this by bringing the required documents to your local Division of Motor Vehicles.

Locations and Hours; Documents to Bring[1]:   

Documents to bring if seeking a federally compliant ID:

Telephone Assistance: Georgetown 302.853.1000 or 1004; New Castle 302.326.5000 or 5005; Dover 302.744.2500 or 2506, Wilmington 302.434.3200 or 3204.

Cost as of Oct 2014: The fee for an identification card is $20.00, and it expires 4 years from your next birthday

Selective Service (Males Only): By applying for a Delaware state identification card, you will automatically be agreeing to be registered with the Selective Service System.

Obtaining a Delaware Driver’s License

If you plan on driving a car or other vehicle in Delaware, you will need to have a Delaware driver’s license.  Your driver’s license will also serve as your official Delaware identification card.  Getting a driver’s license in Delaware is a multi-step process which is intended to ensure you know the laws of the road, and that you have had enough driving practice and training before you receive your license.

There are several excellent resources for learning how to drive and how to get a driver’s license in Delaware:

  • Driver Education Courses – if you are a resident of Delaware, and enrolled in a Delaware public school or nonpublic school, you are entitled to a free driver education course. Also, if you have an active Individual Education Program (IEP) you may be given special accommodations for the course, such as repeating the course for free, and you can take the course until you reach 21.[2] You should request an IEP team meeting to discuss this.  If you don’t have an IEP, you are not a student, you just want to retake the course, or you are over 21, you can enroll in the course for a fee at your local school district.

Additional Information if You Have a Disability

When you apply for your license or permit, the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will generally ask you to tell them if you have a medical condition that may interfere with your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.  You may also be required to give the DMV a signed report or certificate from your doctor that says that your medical condition will not prevent you from safely driving a car.  This is explained in more detail on page 38 of the Delaware Driver Manual. Links to the forms for the physicians are included below. In addition, if you are a student and those with driver’s permits who are identified as a person with a disability and require specialized evaluation, training or equipment to operate a motor vehicle, you will attend specialized training and be examined by the Division.[3]

Other helpful resources or links regarding driving with disabilities and driving schools that specialize in training drivers with disabilities include:

  • If you have questions you can contact DMV Customer Service at:
    1. Customer Service e-mail:
    2. Telephone Assistance: Georgetown 302.853.1000 or 1004; New Castle 302.326.5000 or 5005; Dover 302.744.2500 or 2506, Wilmington 302.434.3200 or 3204.

Registering with the United States Selective Service System

The Selective Service System is a way to provide trained and untrained people to the Department of Defense in the event of a national emergency. The law requires men (but not women!), including immigrants (both those who are documented and those who are undocumented),[5] to register with Selective Service within 30 days of their 18th birthdayEven if you have a disability that would make you unable to serve in the military, you must still register with Selective Service, except as explained below.

If you are male, you are only not required to register if you fall into a very narrow set of exceptions.

For example, if you have a physical or mental disability that causes you to be continuously confined to a residence, hospital, or institution, you may be exempt from registering.  For a list of possible exceptions see: is important to know that if you believe that you should be exempt from registering for the selective service because of disability, you must provide the Selective Service with documented evidence that you are hospitalized, institutionalized, home-bound and unable to function outside the home, or that you are unable to comprehend the nature of your registration with the Selective Service.  The Selective Service – not you or your physician – then makes a determination as to whether or not you qualify for exemption from registration.[6] If you were previously exempt from registration and your status changes, such as you are released from the hospital or institution that previously caused you to be exempt, you must register with the Selective Service within 30 days.

You can also get an early start and send your registration once you are at least 17-years and 3-months old.    It is important to know that late registrations are accepted, but only to age 26.  If you have not registered within 30-days after your 18th birthday, you are technically in violation of the law and should register as soon as possible.

If you fail to register you can be fined up to $250,000 and/or be sentenced to up to 5-yrs in jail. In addition, you may miss out on future benefits and job opportunities, and failing to register could impact your attaining U.S. citizenship (if you are not already a citizen). Registration is required to apply for federal employment, some job training programs, and federal student loans. It also is necessary in order to obtain a Delaware State job.[7]

There are several ways you can register:

  • Visit the U.S. Post Office to complete and submit the form, OR

Selective Service System
P.O. Box 94739
Palatine, IL 60094-4739


  • If you are under 26, you will be automatically registered if you apply for a Delaware state identification card or driver’s license via the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles.

For more information about Selective Service see:


Jury Duty

Courts conduct many trials by jury.   A judge decides the law, and the jury determines the facts and applies the law to the facts.   The jury is made up of ordinary people like you and is selected at random. Jurors are asked to come to court listen to a trial and to then participate in the decision process. You could be asked to serve on a Delaware jury or on a federal jury.  It is an important civic duty that you should consider an honor and privilege.  You will receive a small amount of money to serve on a jury and the law does not allow your employer to punish you for serving as a juror.   Your employer does not need to pay you, so, if serving on a jury will present extraordinary difficulty for you (you can’t afford to lose your pay) you can ask to be excused.

Notice of Jury Duty

If you are selected for jury duty, you will receive a letter in the mail telling you that you have been picked for jury duty.  The letter is called a ‘Summons for Jury Service’.  You will need to fill out the ‘Juror Qualification Questionnaire’ which will be included with your letter, or in some courts you can complete it online, e.g.:

The ‘Summons’ is A Court Order You Cannot Ignore

Failing to reply or failing to show up in court for jury duty can result in an additional summons, fines, and even jail time.  Therefore, it is very important to complete the questionnaire and submit your request to be excused, if applicable, by the deadlines in your summons.  Unless you are excused from jury duty, you must show up at the court at the date and time required by the summons.

Excusal from jury duty or delaying the date of your jury service

If it would be very hard for you to serve on a jury, you can request that you be excused.  To be excused you must:

  • Still Complete the Summons Questionnaire by the deadline in your summons letter, AND
  • Provide a written request, in advance, explaining why you are unable to go.
    1. For example, if you cannot go due to your disability, you need to explain that and give a specific reason as to why that is the case.
    2. You should include proof of a disability or other evidence to support your request.

Completed ‘Questionnaires’ and ‘Requests to be Excused’ from Jury Duty should be submitted according to the instructions in your summons.  You should receive a response informing you whether or not your request to be excused has been approved.  If you do not receive this response, you should call the Jury Services office for further direction.  Be sure to appear for jury duty unless you have been instructed otherwise.

If you still have questions, please call the Jury Services number for the appropriate courthouse:

  • New Castle County: 302.255.0824
  • Kent County: 302.735.1900, Ext. 58021
  • Sussex County: 302.855.7055
  • Federal court: 800-377-3772 (toll free)

Or review the following website for state courts:

Registering to Vote and Voting

In Delaware, adult citizens have a right to vote in elections.[9]   This includes persons with disabilities, even those with guardians.   Only a judge can remove the right of a person with a disability to vote based on a written order that clearly states that the person’s mental disability prevents use of basic voting judgment.

You can register to vote as soon as you turn 18 (or before, if you will be 18 on the date of the next General Election) if you want to exercise this important right[10].  You can register to vote:

  • At any Department of Elections Office for your county[11];
  • At a mobile registration site;
  • By calling an Elections Office and having a registration form mailed to you;
  • At the Motor Vehicle Office or a Social Service Office; or
  • Online at:

You can find more information in our Voting Rights Guide, available at:

[1] It is important to have original documents.  See the link for more details.

[2] See 14 Del. C. § 540.

[3] See 21 Del C. 2710(b)(2); 21 Del C. 2713(d))

[4] Note importance of having original documents – see link for more details.

[5] “The Selective Service System has not now, or in the past, collected or shared any information which would indicate a man’s immigration status, either documented or undocumented.  The Selective Service System has no authority to collect such information.”  Source:

[6] See

[7] 29 Del. C. § 5941A.

[8] But be sure to have your Social Security Number ready to enter.

[9] With the exception of individuals convicted of certain felonies.

[10] Note: you CAN vote in school board elections even if you are not a registered voter.

[11] Historically, Delaware has had a county board of election for each of the three counties. As of July 1, 2015, the three separate county boards will be made into one single state board of election. However, there will continue to be a Department of Elections office in each county. See HS 1 for HB 302 w/HA 1 (147th General Assembly, signed June 26, 2014).